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Discovery of Man's 
atural State ; or, The 
lilty Sinner Convict- 

Man's Recovery by 
ith in Christ : or, The 

Convinced Sinner's Case 
and Cure. 
III. The Christian's Duty 
with respect to both Per- 
sonal and Family Reli- 

By the late Rev. THOMAS HALUBUATON, "' 

fessor of divinity in thf university of 
st. andhew's. 






G594 & 

ft* wg 


W ERE it not to anfwer the expectation of remits, 
*nd comply with the cuflom of writers* the following book 
might be ventured out to the world, without either preface, 
introduction, or recommendation, the very title-page con- 
taining enough ta entitle it to a careful and candid reading 
and perufaL 

The worth and credit of the author is fufficiently efiablifliejL 
**nong fuch as have any tafte of phty or learning. 

By the hiftory of his life, which has met with very good 

acceptance, it appears that he was a m*n of God, one whom. 

fohddfet apart for himfelf.. How dtfiintt and pointed was 

ht4n gbferving the Lord's way and work, in bringing him 

to* himfelf J; A-ad where can we fee a brighter example, 

inthtfe latter days of the world, of the humbling exercift r 

.and comfortable enjoyment ofChriftians, than in the author? 

How exciting and edifying is it, to fee how clofe he 

walked with God in his fee ret inter c our fe with him, in hit 

iowflic relations, and family devotions, in his public and 

Wniflerial work, and his converfdtion lefore the worlds 

.fating the Lord always before him, and acknowledging 

.fcim in all his ways I 

May we not then expeCf fomething very well worth our 
while, in the performance of one of fuch a character? One 
that had the contents of the book written upon his own hearty 
before he preached them to his people, and was a living and 
lively witnefs and example of the great and grave truths 
now exhibited to public view* 

However little this part of his character may take with 
the multitude, yet thofe truly ferivusj who valued him while 
living, and have an honour for his memory when dead, will, 
no doubt y take pleafure to fee how the great purpofes in the 
Uoo.k were managed by fuch an excellent hand; and the 
\brethren that were concerned in the. publifu'ng of it, can $ 
toith a good deal of ajfurance, fay, that the experience, 
»pon perufing, will anfwer the expectations raifed, of meet- 
ing with afpirit of ferioufnfifs and piety breathing in it % 
^tad a^rfat deal of fetid judgment and dif into tliou&Ht ; a** 


in fame incident que/? ions, not uncurious, there is fujficleh 
evidence of his penetration, and what may be very agreeak 
and taking to them who Jet up for fomething above what 

There is nothing in it mean, or unworthy of a grave, jx 
dicieus, and learned author : if any thing look that way', 
it where the neceffity of the matter, and capacity of tho^ 
he dealt with, repaired it, becoming all things to ?W men 
particularly when dealing with children, it was fit to do 
as near their own terms as poffible : for to fuit matter t 
the dvfijrns we have, and to the conditions of thofe we dec 
wii!i % is no argument of the want, but of the flrength i 

He was excellently fitted and enriched with talents, fl 
erery pill Providence called him to, having filled and adorne 
/''" Doctor's chair , as FrofeJJcr of Divinity , as well as th 
pulpit, while pa/lor to a Chrijlian flock. 

but though there had been lefs to fay for the author •, th 
contents of the book deferve a fair hearing, and aferiou 
ptvufal ; why ? it is the great, concern, it is not a trif 
it is not an amujt ment : no, it is of the loft cvnfequence I 
us to know theft things. Many live unconcerned, and lot 
to do fo; it may be, the very title /hail be with fuch a 
argument againft reading ; there is little hope of flxin 4 
fuch fo long as to read the book, or fo deep as to do it f riouj 
iy and with due concern : and no wonder, when thofe fo sndij 
j event about the great concerns of eternity, and their on 
precious fonls, fuffer the fcripture-oracles to lie by them 
without due, frequent, andferious inquiry into them* 

Here is prefented to the view of Chriflians, and thofe wh 
would indeed be fuch, what, by the ble/fing of God, may I 
very entertaining, edifying, andufeful. 

The fir ft fruits of his labours, in the fermon next afte 
his ordination, printed as an introduUion to the book, /hew 
how much his work was at heart, and under what concern h 
was to prepare the people for entertaining and improving 
his mlnlflry and mejfage, and to approve himfelfto God, i; 
the difcharge and delivery thereof 

In the Firft Part, the fate of nature is reprefented as 
ft ate of fin, mifery f and wrath, in the moft pungent, ajfeti 
ing, and convincing terms imaginable $ where the guilt 
/inner is clofely vurfued into all the turns and /lages c 


Ufa and convinced of fin : in each and -all of them, fin it 
reprefented as odious and abominable, as exceeding finfuU 

It is laid open in fitch glaffes, and with fuch aggravations > 
as it is hard to avoid the convictions of it) but where natural 
hardnefs is. irtcreafed, by the malignant influence of Satan 9 
' whofe great defign andjlrettgth lies in keeping all in peace. 

The divine refentments againfi fin, wrath and judgment \ 
upon finners, are likewife fit forth in fitch a manner, as 
cannot eafily mifi to raife terror in the confeiences of the 
guilty : prefint wrath in the direful effects of it., wrath to 
come in the extent and extremity of it, are held forth in 
fetch a lively manner, as muft raife the gratitude of thofe 
happily delivered from it, and bids very fair to alarm and 
awaken thofe yet under it, to t J cape and flee for their 

Then, upon fuppofition of conviction cf fin and guilt, in 
the Second Part, the exercifis of the convinced finner art 
opened up moft difliniily and judichufly,, in their nature, 
rife y workings,, and degrees, and in fitch a feeling manner 
as may eafily perfuade one, thai he has, in this matter, 
copied over his own experience : and it is Jotne degree of 
fatisfattion to one in this condition, to have one going before 
them, and to think that their guide has trodden the fame 

With what tendernefs and companion doth he touch th§ 
, cafes of the.difireffeil ! while yet, with fait hfubtefi and free* 
ohm 9 he opens up the miflakes and deceits, both in the work* 
ings and iffue of cowoUHons, approving hi mf elf an inters 
preter* one among a; thoufand. Thofe who by the Spirit 
are convinced of fin j will know ho\v to put a value upon a 
piece fo fui table to their cafe ; and thofe awakened and conm 
vincedare led by a fkilful hand, to the centre of reft for 
wearied fouls, by the way of faith, and believing en the Lord 
Jefus Chrift, which gives occafion for opening up the my fiery 
ef faith, in its nature, ads, and properties, conccmmitants 9 
and confequences, which will be found very u fitful for in- 
forming the lefs knowing, confirming the weak, and comfort* 
ing theftrong believer. 

And what can be of greater importance for ur to know 
than the only way of efcaping wrath to come, and being 
delivered from th<> curfe and condemnation of the law*" of 
being unittd to Chri/l, and being found in hint) ufcvn viliicK 

' ht 


he bfctmes our righteoufnefs and flrength, whereby we art 
entitled to the great fahation ? 

Of which fahation the author treats' as the great en- 
couragement of believing i and this is the one thing necejfaryi 
for, What is a man profited, if he Rain the whole world, 
and l.'ife iiis own foul ? This falvation is fet forth in f crip" 
turt-lijht, accounted for in its parts and properties, at a 
good length : and as this is of the laft confequence to all, fo 
it mui be the delight of thofe that have it at heart. 

If thou art convinced and awakened, and brought to a 
concern about fahation, if brought to the jailor*: cafe, thou 
wilt become the hdp here offered, and readily attend to the 
mnfwK r of the apoJIU to his que/Hon : for what can be more 
proper and pertinent to the cafe of Juch, than the true 
way to efcape the mifery of a natural /late, and attain 
the felicity of a gracious one? Thefe, as they will not 
fpare, fo they will not repent^ the pains of reading thefe 

Such as are by grace engaged to believe in the Lord Jefut 
Chrijl, and are a people faved of the Lord, will have it at 
heart, what to do for God ; they will fet themfelves, in the 
flrength of grace , to all the duties of religion, whereby 
God may be glorified, and their faith jujlified, and their be* 
gun fahation promoted: all which good defigns are anfwerei 
in the Third Part of the book. 

And this gives an account of perfonal religion, ofthefer- 
vice of God, how we muft enter into it, and perfevere in 
it : and what mre ufeful piece of knowledge is there, than 
how we may do fervice to, and keep up our communion 
with God? Here our firft tranfattions and after walk are 
pointedly and pioufly direfted. 

Here alfo family ■• religion is opened in ils parts, the founder 
tions of it fixed, and the practice of it enforced "with pow- 
erful arguments, and fuitable directions for people's 'walking 
in their houfe, and the proper duties of theftveral relative t 
in a family ; which, if duly obfer*ved$ would turn houfes info 
churches: and this is very necejfary% when family-devotion is 
declining* and like to wear out* 

A public religion comes alfo under confide rat ion in this Part, 
or a public fpirit ; whence the thing is recommended, and yet 
cautioned with great wifdom and judgments to prevent people's 
going out of their fphere 9 and beyond their line. 

IRIIACE, « y« 

The order, fubordination, and mutual dependencies and rela- 
itonsofper/onal, domeftic, and public religion, are nicely fated, 
and jndicioujly dif covered^ and proper caveats entered againfi 
beginning at the wrong end* as Jeldom miffing to tnd either in 
apoftacy or d'tvifion : which cannot be but very nfeful in the 
present JuncJure, when dhvifionsfo much abound, and dividing 
inclinations arefo much aloft. 

In a word, there is no part of the book but what is of high 
importance and great ufefulnefs ; which, joined with the eftab- 
lijbed character and reputation of the author, in titles it to a kind 
reception, and due perufal. 

As thefe were the main prompters of the pnblijbing the book* 
fitbey may be reckoned fufficient arguments for a careful reading 
oni improvement of it, now when publifbed. 

It comes out with very little alteration, even as to words, as 
they flood in the manufcript, partly becaufe it did not much need 
it* and partly out of veneration for the author, whofe pulpit 
fill and ftyle nrasfo generally acceptable ; jet it is not to be 
/»tpq/ed, but if it had received a fini/bing ftroke from his own 
band, for the prefs, it might have appeared more beautiful ; 
thngh even under this want, it will be found, that neither 
method nor ftyle is dijagreeable, though popular, and juft as 
Prepared ana delivered to his people. 

May all that have encouraged the deftgn of publifhing the 
1 book, meet with the double reward of edification to their own 
fouls, and feeing it do much good to others* We live in a time 
when all helps and advantages need to be improved, for 
awakening fecurejtuners, and bringing them under Joul-upt akin g 
inquiries about falvation, and ftirring up Chriflians to the 
nwverfal praclice of piety and godlinefs* And as the book 
bat a plain tendency to thefe ends, go on and read it, and digeft 
and apply it, begging that God may effectually Ttlefs and proffer 
k to tboft good ends for which it U dcfigncd* 

A N 


A&s x. 29. — Iajk therefore for what intent ye have fent 
for me ? 

r AVING the formality * of an introduction, I fliali 
lay before you a few remarks for clearing the oc- 
cafion of the apoftle's nfing this quertion, and the reafon 
why we made choice of this text at this time, for the fub- 
je& of this difcourfe. And, 

1. This chapter contains a large and particular account 
of one Cornelius, a Roman centuricn, or captain of an hun- 
dred foldiers, his converfion to Chriftianity. 

2. Cornelius, though, by birth a Roman, was of the Jew- 
ifh religion, a profelyte, Thofe who, of other nations, em- 
braced the true religion, affociating themfelves to the 
Jews, were called profelytes; and they were either fnch, 
as joined with the Jews in the whole rites of their religion, 
being circumcifed as were the Jews, or fuch as adhered 
to the fubftantials of their religion, but remained uncir- 
camcifed. The former fort were called profelytes of right- 
eoufnefs, or of the covenant ; the latter, profelytes of the 
gate. Interpreters feem to agree that Cornelius was a 
profelyte of the gate, one who owned the fubftance of re- 
ligion, but remained uncircumcifed, and did not join in 
the whole of their worlhip. 

3. This captain was a true convert before this difco- 
very of the gofpel came to him by the apoflle : he was 
accepted of God, and therefore was not to be accounted 
unclean. Now, none fave thofe who are converted can be 
accepted; for 4i the/ that are ia the fteQi cat\uo\ \\^^ 

B G<A% 


God ; and without faith it is impoflible to pleafe him ; for 
he that comes to Irim muft believe that he is a rewarder of 
them that diligently feek him," Heb. x'u 6. Wherefore, 

4. He, no doubt, leaned upon the pro mi fed Me (Hah, Je- 
fus Chrift, for his acceptance with God ; fince u none can 

. come to the Father but by him," who is 4t the way, the 
truth, and the life," and who only can guide finners in 
their approaches to God. 

5. God being a rewarder of fuch as diligently feek him, 
did reward this man's, faith and obedience with the gofpel- 
j chelation of his Son Jefus Chrifl ; whence he came to un- 
der (land, that the Meiliah he looked for was already come. 
His prayers and alms-deeds are faid to come up for a me- 
morial before God ; not as if there had been any thing of 
merit in what was done or attained to, but to encourage 
others, and to difcover the richts of God's bounty, in re- 
warding freely, according to his rich grace, the diligent 
improvement of light, with greater degrees of .light and 
life ; and this reward is not of debt, but of rich and fove- 
reign grace. 

6. This faint, wailing for the confolation of Ifrael, has 
a vifion from God, bidding him fend for the apoftle Peter ; 
whence we may learn, that God has a great refpect for his 
own inftitutions. The gofpel.tniniftry is of divine appoint- 
ment ; and therefore the Lord refers Cornelius to it, though 
it had been no lefs eafy to have difcovered Chrifl: to him in 
•the vifion, 

7. Peter has a vifion to the fame purpofe, removiug fuch 
objections as might make him fcruple: whence we may re- 
mark, that when the Lord defigns good to a people, by a 
minifter, he gives both the people clearnefs to call, and 
the minifter clearnefs to come ; though not in fuch an ex- 
traordinary manner as this here made ufe of. 

8. When the apoftle, in compliance with Cornelius's 
call, and God's call, or rather the Lord's joining in the 
fame call with him, comes to the place where he was, the 
iirft qneftion he puts to him is that which we have read to 
you : I ajk therefore for what intent ye have fent for me? 
and this he doth, notwithftanding he had got fome account 
of this from the fervants who were fent for him by Cor- 

L The words arc la themfelves plain ; aud therefore we 


{hall not offer any explication of them, but lay before you 
this do&rine, which is palpably contained in them. 

Doct.— u A faithful gofpel-minifter, coming among a 
people upon their call, will bz very defirous to know 
what their defigns in calling him were." I ajk therefore 
for what intent ye have fentfor me f 

la difcourfing this point, we fhall enquire, 

I. What defigns a people fhould have in calling agofpeL 
mini Iter. 

II. What way they iliould evidence thefe to be their de- 

III. Make fome inquiry into the reafons of the do&rine. 
And, laftiy, Apply the whole. 

(• To begin with the firft of thefe, The defigns a people 
fiouldhave in calling a gofpel-minifter ; — they are many. We 
Uiall endeavour to reduce them to a few* Ami, 

J. A people fhould, in calling a gofpel-minifter, defign 
to hear from him the whole counfel of God % in reference to 
their eternal falvation. This is the great bufinefs of gof- 
peUminiftersy to declare the whole counfel of God to thefe 
to whom they come, to keep nothing back from them that 
may be of ufe to them. So their commiflion runs, Macth, 
xxviii. 19, 20« u Go ye therefore and teach all nations, 
baptifing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy ,Ghoft ; teaching them to obferve all 
things whatfoever I have commanded you ; and lo, I am 
with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen."" 
And the great apoftle of the Gentiles in that famous fare- 
well fermon of his to the church of Ephcfus, which we 
have recorded, A&s xx. from ver. 17. and downward, ap- 
peals to the confeience of that people as to his faithful nefs 
in fulfilling his commiflion in declaring to them the whole 
counfel of Goa\ ver. 27. And in keeping back nothing that 
could be profitable to them, ver. 20. Whoever would 
approve himfelf a faithful gofpel-minifter, muft take care 
faithfully to difcover to his hearers their loft and undone 
flate by nature ; that they are all become guilty before 
God ; and that there is no other way of their obtaining 
accefs to him but through Jefus Chrift, whou moAt cACasA 
to them who believe « wifdom, rightedufaefej £axt&\fa*Cw&,, 


and redemption." To thefe two dotli the apoftle refer the 
whole of that counfel of God, he fhunned not to declare to 
the Ephefians, in that fore-cited fcripture, Acts xx. 21. He 
teftified to all perfons, Jews and Greeks, repentance to- 
wards God, (/. e. that they were guilty of fuch offences 
againft God, as called for deep humiliation,) and faith to- 
wards our Lord Jefws Chrift; that is, that there was no 
way of efcaping the wrath of God, but that of clofiug with 
Chrift by faith. This is the matter of the gofpel : and 
Chrift's fervauts are to make it their bufinefs faithfully 
to unfold the mind of God in reference to thtfe two, man's 
ftate by nature, and what he may by grace be advanced to. 
This is called," 1 Tim. v. 17. a u labouring in the word 
and doc"trine." 

Tiis preaching of the gofpel takes in three things. 
1. A full propofal~bf the doftrine juft now mentioned, 
Minifters mufl, without mincing the matter, plainly dif- 
cover ts/nen their loft ftate, and the impoffibility of re- 
covery any other way, than by the gofpel- method, through 
Jefus Chrift, Atfs xx, ai. 2. They mujl difcover thefe 
things, not as their private fentiments, built upon fome 
rational conclufions of their own drawing and framing, 
but as the word of God. It is the word cf God they are 
to propofe, and not their own private opinions ; and it is 
t he word of God hearers are to receive from them, 1 ThefT. 
ii. 13. " For this caufe alfo thank we God," faith the 
* apoftle, " without ceafiug, becaufe when ye received the 
word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as 
the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, 
which effectually worketh alfo in you that believe." 
3. This preaching of the word takes in not only a propofal 
of the word of God, but an authoritative declaration of it 
by virtue of a commiifion derived from God, u Thefts 
things fpeak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority, " 
Tit. ii. 15. The word, in thefirft lauguage, may be ren- 
dered command^ with alt command. Minifttrs are clothed 
with authority from God ; and in his name, by virtue 
of a commiflion received from him, they are to preach 
the gofpel, and to fpeak the counfel of God, as being his 
f»ouih to the people, 1 Pet, iv. 11. This is the princi- 
pal part of the minifter's work ; and therefore to hear the 
word of God from tfiera in this maimer ftiQwld hs \.he &rsat 


defign of .thefe who call a gofpel-minifter, that they may 
hear from them as the mouth of God, what by nature they 
are, and what through the grace of God in Chrift Jefus 
they may be. But now, 

z. When a people call a gofpel-minifter, they fliould de- 
fign the regular and orderly performance of the wor/Jiip 
of God. This worfhip of God, as it is contradiftinguifhed . 
from the doclrine of the gofpel, of which under the former 
head, confifts principally in the adminiftration of the fa* 
era ments and prayer; public prayer, 1 mean, under which 
praises are comprehended, as belonging to, and al- 
ways to be joined with it, according to our blefled Lord's 
appointment in that form, commonly called the Lord's 
Prayer, which concludes with thankfgiving. In Acts ii. 
42. we have an account of the public worfhip of the church, 
which confifts in preaching, there ex pre /Ted by doclrine, 
and breaking of bread, that is, adminiftering the facra- 
men* of the Lord's fupper, and prayers and praifes. "And 
they," faith the Spirit of God fpcaking of the church, 
u continued in the a potties doclrine and fellowihip, and 
in breaking of bread, and in prayers ;" and, ver. 47., 
u praifing God."* The celebration of the facraments, pub- 
lic prayers and praifes, are divine indentions for the fal- 
yation and edification of the church, which cannot begone 
about, or orderly performed, without a gofpel-miniftry, 
who only have commiffion to celebrate the facraments, and 
to be the mouth of the people" to God in their public aflem-- 
blies, being fumiflied with fpiritual gifts for the work,. 
Matth. xxviii. 19. 1 Cor. xi. 23. and xiv. 16. And 
therefore,., when a people call a gofpel-minifter, they 
fliould have this in view, as one great defign, that there.- 
by they may have the gofpel -w or fhip celebrated among: 
them in all its parts, according to Chrift'sinftitution,. to* 
their fpiritual advantage, and his glory. 

3. They Ihould call a gofpel-minifter to rule over them. 
This is one part of the minifter's work, to rule over his 
flock, 1, Tim., v. 17. " Let the elders that rule well, be 
counted worthy of double honour, efpecially they who la- 
bour in the word and doclrine." This fuperiority which 
gofpel-minifters have, is not a lordly dominion over ei- 
ther the perfons or faith of the flock. No, aiyj thvc^ sft 
\&ii.SqiX that ever crept into the chuxcY^ YhA \u x\W 


fronl the fubtihy of Satan, who envied its peace; and is 
direflly oppofite to the gofpet, which forbids lordly do- 
minion, the gofpel-minilter's authority being given only 
for u edification, and not for deftrucYion," as the apoftle 
has it, 2 Cor. x. 8. And it confifts, i. In an authoritative 
enforcement of the laws of Chrift's houfe. 2. In a min- 
ifterial enforcement of them, by an offer of the gol- 
pel-privileges as the rewards of obedience. And, 3. In 
a power to inflitf, according to Cbrift's appointment, the 
gofpcl-punifliments upon thedifobedient, thehigheft where- 
of is excommunication, whereby the difobedient are '* de- 
livered over to Satan, for the deftrutfion of the flefh, 
that the fpirit may be faved in the day of the Lord Jefus," 
as the apoftle ha& it, 1 Cor. v. 5. And to one of thefe 
three ends might all be reduced, according to the coni- 
mon diftindtion of gofpel-ordinances, in doctrine, worfhip, 
and government. Bui that you may the better nnderftand 
this matter, we fhall name fome more particular defigns t 
and therefore we fay, 

4. A people in calling a gofpel.minifter, fhould defign 
the clq/ing of a bargain, and making a match with -Chrift 
upon his own terms* It is the work and bufinefs they are 
fent out for, to efpoufe fmners to Chrift, 2 Cor. ii %• to 
woo a bride for the Lamb. They have a commiffion, as 
Abraham's ferrant had, to go and feek a wife for their 
Matter's Son ; and thofe who call them fhould do it in or- 
der to the conclujinn of this happy match ; that from them 
they may hear the terms whereon they are to be admitted 
into this near relation, the advantages that (hall accrue to 
them by it, the inconveniences they will run themfelvea 
into by a refufal, and the warrant they have to enter in- 
to fo high and honourable a relation. 

5. They fhould defign their »wn furtherance in acquaint* 
ance with Chrift, They fhould u as new born babes de- 
Are the fincere milk of the word, that they may grow 
thereby," 1 Pet, ii. 2. that they may be furthered in 
their joy and faith, il growing in grace, and in the knowl- 
edge of the I ord Jefus Chrift." 

6. They fhould defign their own efiablifhment in lee- 
ways ofGotfj that they may not be u tofled to and fro with 
every wind of doctrine," but that €i being rooted and 1 

grounded 10 the faith, they may grow up \\\ «A\ tVvw^s to 
**n who ms the head and Saviour of tacbod^" ^^ 


This is exprcfsly declared to be the defign of the minT- 
try, Eph. iv. 11. The apoftle, having fpoken of ChriJVs 
exaltation, and his having received gifts for men, tells us 
of him, in this V%rfe and the following, u That he gave 
fome apoftles, fome prophets, and fome evangelifts, and 
fome paftors and teachers, for the perfecting of the faints, 
for the work of the miniltry, for the edifying of the bo'ly 
of Chrift ; till we all comd in the unity of the faith, and 
of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, 
unto the me3fure of the ftature of the fulnefs of Chrift ; 
that we henceforth be no more children tofled to and fro, 
and carried about with every wind of dotfrine, by the 
fleight of men, and cunning craftinefs whereby ihey lie in 
wait to deceive," &c. And to the fame purpofe fpeaks the 
Spirit of God frequently elfewhsre, of the* defign of the 
mini dry. Paul, in Horn. i. 11. exprelTeth his earned de« 
lire to fee them, and to u impart fome fpiritnal gii't" unto 
them, to theend u they may beeftabliflied." Thefe who 
are already engaged in God's ways (hould defign their owii 
ertabli foment in them in their calling a gofpel-miniller. 

7. They fhould defign their own direction through all the 
difficulties of religion* The Lord's people have many dark 
fteps in their way ; fometimes they are und^r te.nptation, 
and know not how to carry ; fometime* they are engaged 
in a clofe fight with their ad verfaries, and know not how to 
wield their fptritual armour to advantage 9 fometimes they 
are ont of the way, and know not how to get into it again : 
and therefore they need fome to guide them into the mean- 
ing of God's word; for how can they underftand, unlefs 
they be taught, Acts viii. 31. " How can I underftand," 
lays the Ethiopian eunuch, u unlefs fome man mould guide 
me:'* and who fhould guide them but thofe who are guides 
by office, as the word may be rendered, Heb, xiii. 8. " Con- 
fider them who have thernle over you," or who are your 
guides. This, as the end of a gofpel-mtniftry, is prom: fed 
in lfa. xxx. 20, 21. 4< And though the Lord give yon the 
bread of adverfity, and the water of affliction, yet {hall not 
thy teachers be removed into corners any more, but thine 
eyes (hall fee thy teachers i And thine ears (hall hear a 
voice behind thee, faying, This is the way, walk ye in it, 
when ye turn to the right hand, and vrhevx ^e. Xwt^ \^ W\^ 
Mr." It h im-foMble we flxould condtictx^ o\\ *\\ W* 


particular intentions or ends a people ihould propofe to 
themfclves in calling a gofpel-minifter ; and therefore we 
fhall conclude all this in one, which is Cure to comprehend 

8. They fliould feek to have one who may anfwer in fotne 
7neafure Timothy's chiratfer, with refped 10 the church of 
the Philippians, Phil. ii. ao. one who may naturally take 
care of them, that is, one who may, out of love to their 
foals, affiittidnately, prudent ly, carefully r and with impar- 
tial boldneft f open and apply the word, difpenfe the facra- 
ments, and ad mini iter discipline, for the in ft ruction of the 
ignorant, ftrengthtniivg the weak, comforting the difcon* 
folate, affecting the impenitent, reproving the faulty, re» 
covering wanderers, directing and helping forward thofe- 
who doubt and halt ; that he may both fave himfelf and 
them, to thepraife and glory of God's grace^ We fhall not 
infill upon each of thefe particulars, which would require 
not one or two r but many fermons, which fuits not our 
prefent defign. We (hall therefore proceed, in the 

Second place, to inquire, How a people fliould make it 
appear that they were afting upon thofe defigns in their caU 
ling a gojptl-minifier. This inquiry might be undcrftood,, 
either to refpeit their own fatisfacVion, or the fatisfacVion 
of the world, or of the minifter himfelf as to this matter ;. 
but time not allowing us to be fo particular,, we fhall hold 
the inquiry in the general v and in anfwer to it we fay, 

i. A people fliould difcover their defigns to be iuch as 
we have men t ion td r by a punHual attendance upon all the 
ordinances, to be by him difpenfed in public or private. 
Thus we fee it was with Cornelius ; he not only waited on 
himfelf, but he called together thofe on "whom he had any 
influence.. ** And Cornelius waited for them,, and had 
called together his kinfmen and near friends,' 9 Ads x. 24. 
Thofe who will not give attendance to the public difpen- 
fation of the word,, and the private inftruclions, either 
family or perfonaJ* but withdraw,, we cannot think thefe 
perfons had the right end- before them in calling a gofpel- 
minifler: furely, had they been right in their aims, they 
would have been ready to fay with Cornelius, u We are 
all here prefent," &c. 

2. They fhould not only prefent their bodies upon fuch 
*cqmGojzs,. but they fliould Jiji Qed's flght r 



to hear all things whatever are commanded of God by his 
fervants. " Wc are all here prefent," fays Cornelius to 
Peter, u to bear all things that are commanded thee oi 
God," Acls x. 33. To give attendance to the ordinances, 
either more public or private, on any other defign thin 
this, is to 4 * offer thefacrifice of fools;" contrary 10 that 
injunction of the wife man, Eccl. v. 1. ** Keep thy foot 
when thou goeft to -the uoufe of God, and be more ready 
to hear, than to give the facrifke of fools." When we 
come to God's ordinances, we mud come to hear what he 
fpeaks to us. 

3. They fhould evidence the honefty of their defigns, 
by obeying the word which they hear at his mouth ; thty 
fhould comply with all the commands of Gcd, and f3y to 
their minifter, as the people of Ifrael faid to Mofes, Deut. 
v. 27. " Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our 
God ihall fay, ai:d fpeak thou unto us all that the Lord 
our God (hall fpeak unto |hee, and we will hear it and do 
it." For, as the a port I e James well obferves, u It is not 
the bearer of the word, but the doer who is blefled of 
God," James i. 25. As we muft hear and do, foour at- 
tendance muft not be limited, but our ear mull be opened 
to reproofs, and the mod terrible denunciations of wrath 
from God, as well as to the fweet promifes and charming 
<hfcoveries of the glory df Chrift, the beauties of religion, 
the furprifing happintfs of the faints in heaven ; and there 
muft not only be obedience to thefe commands, -which may 
bring in honour, external gain, and pleafure, by our com- 
pliance, but thefe alio mud be obeyed, which may bring 
ns under the lafli of wicked men's tongues, and expofe us 
to reproach, hazard, and ignominy, in the world* All 
things whatfoever are commanded of God muft be punctually 
obeyed without re(erve. 

• 4. There muft he a fubmitting to all the ordinances of 
God. Both this obedience and fubmiffion you will find 
fpoken of, Heb. xiii. 17. u Obey them that have the 
rule over you, and fubmit yourfelves, for they watch for 
your fouls, as thofe who muft give an account, that they 
may do it with joy, and not with grief: for this is unpro- 
fitable for you." The word rendered obey, fignifies pro. 
perly a believing upon perfuafion, and relye&s owv ^V\<ii 
of the truths propofed by them, and & jm»ys\\K\*»ka ^vO^ 


our duty that way ; and, on the other hand, this fubmif- 
fion has a refpedt to the power they have over their people 
for edification, and not for definition; that is, that au- 
thority they have for admonifhing, reproving, rebuking, 
and cenfuring offenders ; and by a lubmiflion to them in the 
difpenfation of thefe ordinances of Chrift, reproof and cen» 
fure, I mean, they are to evidence to all the uprightnefs 
and Chriftian finccrity of their dtfigns. 

5. They are to evidence their defigns to be juftifjable T 
by a careful diligence in applying to their minifter upon all 
occafiom i when they are under difficulties, when they are 
in the dark as to duty, when they have to do with cor- 
ruptions which they cannot get maftered, when under the 
Lord's hand, and fo of all <nher exigencies of the like na- 
tare. For as the " pr hit's lips flieuld preferve or keep 
knowledge, fo the people ihould afk the law at his moutb r N 
for he is the meflenger of the Lord of hoft*-," Mai- ii. 7. 
And thefewho are.fick, are bid " fend for the elders or 
minifters of the church to pray over them,*' James v. 14* 
Thofe who have the advantage of a goi pel-mi nifter, are 
indifpenfibly obliged to acquaint him with the ftate of 
their fouls, when there is any thing peculiar in it, and 
whtn fhey are reduced to any ftrait or extremity. And 
that, 1. Becaufe Gcd has laid it open to them as a dutyy 
in that fore-cited Mai. ii. 7. ** The people ihould afk 
the law at his mouth." 2. Becaufe otherwife he will be 
at a lofs in his bringing meffages to you, if he mi flake 
your cafe, or be unacquainted with it; how can he direct 
you, if he undtrftand not your ftate and condition? The 
Lord gives no immediate revelation now, we have no war. 
rant to expect any fuch thing ; and therefore the way 
wherein minifters ordinarily come to underftand their 
people's condition is by thtmfelves, who upon this 

♦ ground are called to have recourfe to their minifters. 
3. They fhonld acquaint their minifters with their circum- 
fiances, becaufe they are the people's mouth to God? and 
if they be not acquainted with the circuroltances and con- 
ditions of the flock, how (hall they, according to their du- 
ty, hold up the cafe of their people to God, as they are* 
indifpenfibly obliged to do, and that both in public, in fe- 
cret, and in private. 

6. Once more, and we have done : A people may and 


ihoold prove their intentions hone ft, "by a diligent appli- 
cation to their own proper work and bujinefs y with relpect 
to his furtherance in thefe great defigns. Every member 
of the congregation mould be helpful to him, in contri- 
buting their utmoft afljftance to him in his work. A 
minifler may fpehd u hi? ftrengtb in vain,*' if eld-rs in 
in their place, mailers of families in theirs, and every par- 
ticular perlon in his ftition, do not join, by prayer at d 
otherwise, in afiifling their minifters. Then do men appear 
fmcerein their defigns, for the glory cf God, and their own 
falvation, when every one puts to liis hand lo the wcrk, 
end endeavours the removal of what may retard and ob- 
flrud its progrefs and fuccefs ; and likewife ftudics by all 
means t© ftrengthen the minifter's hands, that he may not 
be difcouraged, diverted, or taken off from his work. In 
fine, then do a people appear fingle in their aims, when 
their words, their hearts, their hands go one way, and 
all they do is levelled at the ends mentioned, the glory of 
God, in the conversion, edification, and falvation of fouls. 
I proceed now, 

Thirdly, To inquire Into the reafons of the dottrine, 
why a faithful gofpel-minifter coming amonpft a people, 
will be careful to underftand their defign or intent in cal- 
ling him. And, 

i. This will be the defire of a gofpel-minifter, be- 
caofe a miftake in this matter will be of very dangerous 
confequence to the people. That people may be influenced 
by wrong and fiaiftrous ends and motives in this matter, 
is beyond all peradventure. They may defign the u gra- 
tification of their itching ears" by the preacher's gifts, as 
the prophet Ezekiel's hearers did ; they may feek the goi pel- 
ordinances for & charm as it were, that they may fit down 
and reft upon them, as many people do, like thofe with 
whom the prophet Jeremiah had to do, who faid, " The ' 
temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are thefe." 
Or they may defign the flrengthening of factions andparties y 
or to get occafion to mock^ as many do now in our days*. 
Thefe and the like finiftrous defigns may a people go upon ; 
and there can be nothing more prejudicial to a people than 
to be under the influence of fuch intentions ; fince, paft 
all peradventure, God will not fit with (uc\\ art\ afrc^wx *& 
is done him by this means, when the ouWrvatice, <A \>&* xcCvcv- 


ftry, which he defigned for the gocd of fouls, and h!« 
glory, is proftituted, and made fuhfervient to quite differ- 
ent, nay, oppofite defigns: and furely a faithful gofpel- 
minifter, who will have a tender regard to the falvation 
of his people, cannot clmfe but be folicitous to underftand 
that they are not in fo dangerous- a miflake. 

2. The knowledge of this will be of great ufe to clear 
his call. It is a great evidence that God defigns good to 
a people when ihey call a gofpel.minifter upon fuch de. 
figns ; aud cannot but go a great length towards his fatis* 
facVion as to Gcd's calling him to work among them, in 
order to the comparing the great defigns of his miniftry. 
When Peter got the account before fpoken of from Cor- 
nelius, he is further confirmed as to the hand of God in 
his coming to hint, in compliance with his defire. 

3. If upon inquiry they be found to be fuch as we hare 
mentioned, it will be a great comfort to him, in grap- 
pling with the difficultiet he may meet with in the difchargc 
of. his duty. It will give a great deal of fatis fatlion to 
him, to know that thofe for whofe fakes he runs thofe 
hazards, and grapples with thefe difficulties, have the fame 
aims, and are joining in the fame defign with him. In 
fine, the right management of his whole work depends very- 
much upon this knowledge of his people's intentions 2 
and therefore it is no wonder he be inquifitive into them, 
fince by his acquaintance with thefe he may be capacitated 
to further both his own and their falvations. 

We might, for improvement of this point, difcourfe to you 
at length of the neceffity of a gofpel-minifter's inquiring 
into his own defigns in undertaking the charge of a people. 
The arguments made ufe of to difcover the reafonablenefs 
of inquiring after the people's defigns, conclude no lefs 
ftrongly with refpeft to the minifter's. We might like wife 
difcourfe to you of the way how he it to manifefl the in* 
tegrity and fincerity of his aims ; but time will not allow 
us to enter upon thefe things, and you heard the minifter'a 
duty fo fully and largely difcourfed of within thefe few - 
days, viz. at the ordination, that we judge it needlefs to 
enter upon that fubjedt ; and therefore all the improve- 
ment we defign, of what has been faid, ill a H be difpatched 
in a fliort addrefs to you of this congregation. 

You have called me to labour among you in the work of 


the gofpel ; upon your call 1 havt come ; I afk therefore 
to what intent Jent ye forme ? What did ye defign in this 
matter ? Was it to hear what God has to lay 10 you, that 
God's worthip may be ordered according to his own ap- 
pointment, that you may be brought to acquaintance 
withChrift, or that you may be cftablifhed in his wa;s? 
Were thefe and the like the defigns you had in view r 
Were thefe the motives that influenced you? If you narrow- 
ly look into your own heart, and make an impartial inquiry, 
you may readily come to underftand what your aims have 
been; and for your help, I would only, in God's name, 
pofe your confeiences with a queftion or two, that may 
be of ufe. 1. Dare you, without heart-condemning, as 
in the fight of God, fay, that in calling a minifter you 
had refpeel to the command of God ? Was it duty that 
moved you, or did cuftom and your own ea(V, influence 
you > 2. Dare you hold up your faces and fay, that it was 
a tafte of God's goodnefsin ordinances, that made you dc- 
fire them, that you might grow thereby > 3, Did this a"e- 
fire lead you much to the thrpue of grace to pray for a 
minifter, that God might fend you one u according to 
his own heart, that might feed you with knowledge and 
underftanding V 9 4. When you faw any profpect of the 
return of your prayers, as to a gofpel-miniftry, were you 
careful to plead that the blefling might come along ? 

What fay ye to thefe things ? Give God, give con- 
ference juftice; let confeience fpeak freely, and tell whether 
things be fo or not* They muft either own, that there was 
not a regard to the command, that there was not a defira 
after the fincere milk of the word, occafioned by a tafte of 
the Lord's gooduefs, that there was not that ferious ap- 
plication to God by prayer, cither for a minifter, or for 
the blefling of the ordinance ; or that there was ; and this 
will caft you all into two clafles. 1/?, Thofe who have not 
been fo employed in this matter, and confeqnently have not 
been acting for right ends. And, .2d/y, TUofe who have 
been bufied in duty, in the way juft now mentioned. To 
each of- thefe a word. And, 

1/?, As for you who have not had a regard to your du- 
ty in this matter, who have not been wreftling with God 
in prayer, that God might fend you a minifter ^ witti the 
fulaefs of the bleffing of the gofpelj to *jo\x VJt Wj^ 

C \- \w« 


i. Your defigns arc not fuch as God will approve of. 
Had they been fuch as we mentioned in the former part of 
this ditcourfe, then furely they would have led you to 
carneft wreftling with God, for bis direction, who only 
can point to one that is meet to anfwer thofe bleffed ends. 

2. You are guilty of horrible wickednefs. Yoa have 
committed a great provocation, in calling a mintfter up- 
on any other defign. God defigned them for the ends for- 
merly mentioned, and no other; and your calling them 
upon other aims, is an endeavour to counteract God, prof- 
titute his ordinance, and ferve your lufts of that which 
God defigned for his own glory. 

3. Whatever good others may get by the gofpel, you 
have no reafon to look for any. God may anfwer you ac- 
cording to the idols of your own hearts: and when he 
fatisfies the foul of the hungry with good things, he may 
lend leannefs to you. When he gives a commiflSon to the 
word to enlighten, convert, confirm, and ftrengthen o- 
thers, you have reafon to fear that it may have a coaimif- 
iion to make you blind, deaf, and dead. 

4. Repent therefore of this your wickednefs, and pray 
God, if perhaps the thoughts of your heart may be for- 
given you; lie in the daft before God; endeavour to get 
your hearts affected with your guilt, that you may be deep- 
ly humbled and abafed befoFe him whom you have provoked 
to anger. 

5. Bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Let us know 
by your carriage that you are really penitent, and that 
now you have got the right defigns in view ; and this you 
may do by a clofe attendance upon all the ordinances, by 
hearing and doing whatever is enjoined you of God, and 
by all other ways mentioned in the do&rinal part of this 
difcourfc. N 

6. And, laftly. Whether you hear or forbear, yet we 
tell you, the kingdom of G«d is come near unto you ; 
whatever you defign, the Lord has given you a gofpel-day ; 
and if our gofpel be hid from you, it is becaufe you are 
loft, the god of this world having blinded your eyes, that 
yoii (hould not difcern the light of the glorious gofpel of 
JefusChrift, who is the image of God. 

As to the fecond fort of perfons, thofe who have been 
importunate with God, and have had an eye to his com- 
Miami in this work, to you we fay, \.T\v\* 


I. This your condu&, pad all perad venture, is do 
mean evidence of the fincerity of your good intentions ; 
and this is certainly matter of thank fulnefs, and is more- 
over a ground to hope, that the Lord may not altogether 
fruftrate your de fires. 

2* Do not think your work is over. Wreftle, plead 
ftrongly with God for the bleffing on gofpel-ordinances ; 
whoever plants or waters, it is only God that gives the 
increafe ; and therefore, if you mean to grow under thr 
means, be inflant in prayer for the blclfing on them ; 
plead that God may not fend leaniTefs to your fouls, while 
lie provides plenty of i'pi ritual provifion for you. 

3. Beware of luting down upon gofpel-privileges. You 
may, if you do fo, lole what you have wrought, ami juftly 
bring the fincerity of your aims in queftion. There is no- 
thing more ordinary, than fecurity of this fort. Perfons 
who it may be would fay, O had they a gofpel-difpenfa, 
tion ! how glad would they be, how carefully would they 
improve it ; and yet when they get what they feek, their 
improvement is in no meafure anfwerable to their refolu. 
tions. Take heed of, and guard againft this. 

4. Let there be a fuitable care to evidence your fincer- 
ity in this matter, by the whole of your deportment. If 
you turn carelefs in attending ordinances, if you hear, 
but do not, if you neglect your own work, aud be wanting 
to yourfelves in this matter, then who will believe your 
fincerity? who can believe it ? your own conferences will 
accufe you ; and " if your hearts condemn you, God is 
greater than your hearts, and knows all things," 
I John iii. 20. 

5. If you find that the Lord has made endeavours fuc- 
cefsful, take care that you facrifice not to your own net, 
and burn incenfe to your drag. God is a holy and jealous 
God, and will not be mocked ; and if you begin to rob him 
of his glory, he will get him glory in fuch a way as may 
lay you low, and make you fmart feverely for your own 

6. If the Lord give you the gofpel-light, then walk in 
the light while you have it. Carry like children of the 
light and of the day, work out the work of your falva- 
tion with fear and trembling ; for norvc oC ut «kv\*\\W» 


foon our gofpel-day may be gone, and the night fucceed 
wherein none can work. 

We (hall conclude this difcourfe with a few general ad- 
. vices to all of you. Would you have our miniflry made 
fuccefsfnl ? would you obtain the real advantage of gofpel*' 
ordinances, and have our meetings fwch as may be matter 
of rejoicing both to you and me in the day of the Lord ? 
then we intreat, befeecb, nay, and obteft you by the mer- 
cies of God, in the bowels of our Lord Jefus Chrift, as you 
would have your own fouls and ours to be faved — 

I. Pray for us. As a minifter is indifpenfibly obliged 
to mind his people before God, and to carry them ever 
upon his heart, fo are they obiiged to pray for their min- 
ifter : u Pray for us," fays the apoftle, Heb. xiiu 18. 
u for we truft we havs a good confeience in all things, 
willing to live honeftly." To give weight to this advice, 
llb.all lay before you a few confideration*. And, 

(1.) Coafider, minifters are not fnificient of themfelves 
for this work; the work is great, weighty and important, 
and the difficulties are many ; and who is fufScient for it ? 
Surely minifters are net ; for if the apcftlefaid with juftioe 
of himfelf, u That he was not of hiinfelf fnfficient to think 
any thing as he ought," z Cor. iii. 5. then much more 
may gofpel minifters now-a-days own it to be fo with'thera^ 
and therefore all their fufficiency -is only of God, from 
w!)om fuitable and needful fupplies fliould be fought, 

(2.) Confuler that in their plenty and fulnefs you iball 
have plenty. They are indifpenfibly obliged to lay out 
what they receive for you, to fpend and be fpent ii> the 
work and fervice of your faith ; and therefore it is your 
interell that they abound, fince it is for your fake they 
labour ; and the more fo, if you be inftrumental by your 
prayers, in procuring advantages and fupplies for them. 

(3.) Confide r that they are expofed to great hazards for 
your fake, and therefore you are to contribute your ut- 
moft to their a'fiftance this way, wherein yon may be moil 
helpful to them. They being made watchmen, do thereby 
become the butt of Satan's malice; and the more faithful 
they are, the more will he oppofe them, and feek their 
ruin. The enemy's principal defign is fure to be againfl: 
the watchmin, besaufe he prevents the furprifing of hi* 
people by Satan , at Je.ift it is his bufinefe to do Co \ awd 


therefore no ftone will be left unturned, in order to his 
ruin. i. Satan will endeavour to lay him afleep, and make 
him turn fee u re, that he may negleft his poft. 2. If he 
mifsof this, he will endeavour to fill him with difturbance 
and fear, that fo he may be diverted from his duly, and 
made to quit his poft. Or, 3. He will ply his cor- 
ruptions, that he may, by attending to them, and driv- 
ing againft them, take him off from, or difcourage him 
in his oppofition to thofe of others. 4. He will endeavour 
to blind his eyes by falfe appearances, that To he may give 
falfe alarms; and this will weaken his credit, and make 
people not believe his warnings. 5. He will endeavour 
to am ufe him with great appearances of danger where 
there is none; that his eyes may turn off from thofe things 
which may really endanger his flock. And, 6. He will 
endeavour to beget and cherifh jealouiies betwixt his peo- 
ple and him, whereby his warnings will be lefs regarded, 
and bis hands be weakened, and his heart be difcou raged. 
7. If thefe fail, he will endeavour to get him removed ; 
if he fee the gofpel like to prove fuccefsful, then he will 
take care to find out ways to oblige the watchman to re- 
move from his poft. And, 8. If he fail of this, he will 
endeavonr to kill hini, either by multiplying troubles and 
griefs, or clfe by more direct methods, employing his 
emiflaries and fervants to take away his life; and this by- 
God's permiffion, for the punifhment of a people's fins, 
^ has proven fuccefsful. Surely thefe and a great many more 
methods, nfed by Satan, the wicked world, pretended 
friends, and their own corruptions, againft the minifters 
of the gofpel, and all upon the people's account, mould 
make them careful in praying to God in their behalf, that 
they may bj faved from the attempts of all their fpiritual 
adverfaries, and may be made to grow in grace and gifts. 
Pray for much grace to your minifter, that he may per- 
fuade, as knowing the terrors of the Lord ; that he may 
deal tenderly with you, as having himfelf had acquaint- 
ance with foul-ficknefs on account of (in ; that he may 
take you to Jefus fafely, as having himfelf been with him \ 
that he may comfort you with the confolations wfierewith 
I he has been comforted of Gcd; In fine, that he may fpeak, 
J becaufe he himfelf has not only believed, Y>\xt t*\>fc\\wv«A. 
I the work ofgrg cc upon hia own foul, as owe. t\ttXYiasAt&fc& 
/ c x ^** 


that fin is an evil and bitter thing, and has found that 
Chrift is ufeful, is fufficient, is precious ; and that he may 
pray acceptably for you, as one that has found acceptance 
3n his own behalf. Pray likewife for gifts to him, knowU 
edge in the myftery of God, and of Ghrift, and of faith i 
that he may have much fpiritnal wifdom, zeal, boidnefs, 
and courage, to fit him for his work ; and withal, that 
the Lord may give a door of utterance. 

(4.) Confider, that a careful attendance to your duty, 
in holding up your niinlfter's cafe, wfll be a great mean to 
promote love, mutual love betwixt you and him ; and this 
will help to break Satan's engines. Nothing contri- 
butes more to the furtherance and fuccefs of one's miniftry 
in a place, than much love, and mutual kindnefs betwixt a 
minifter and people; and no love fo ufeful this way, as that 
which vents iifelf in prayer for one another, and is cher- 
illied by this means. But, 

2. I intreat you may carefully attend ordinances, pub- 
lic, private, and fecret ; and catechifing, as the Lord (hall 
give occafion. This will make us cheerfully go about thefe 
duties, if we fee you ftndying to make advantage of them : 
this will be profitable to you ; it will difcourage our ene- 
mies ; it will rejoice our heart, and be a credit to religion. 

3. Any advantage you receive, be fure that ye attri- 
bute it entirely to God ? beware of placing it to the min- 
ister's account, who is only the inftrument ; if you rot 
God of the glory, and give it to the inftrument, you may 
by this provoke the Lord to blaft your minifter, and tc 
withdraw from him his prefence ; which will foon mak« 
you fee, that it is not the minifter that can do any thing, 
Give God his due, and fo account of us as the fervants oi 
Chrift, and the ftewards of the myfteries of the gofpel ; 
and when ye get any good by it, put it all to God's ac- 
count ; blefs him for it ; and let the inftrument have ar 
intereft in your affections and prayers, that he may be fur- 
ther ufeful to you and others. 

4. Once more and we have done. Do not count u 
your enemies, if we tell you the truth ; we muft by anj 
means be free, in laying open your fins, and in carryinj 
home the conviction of them to your confcicnces ; nor dar 
we gratify any, by holding our peace in this matter 5 fori 
we plea fe men, then we are uotOae fe™ro\iolCta\ft.vwN 


if anv foul die in its fin by our filence, then we bring the 
blood of fouls upon our own heads, and hazard our own 
fools. We are obliged, by the manifeftation of the truth, 
to commend ourfelves to conferences ; and if the more we 
love, the lefs we are loved, then God will require it at 
your hands. But whether you will hear, or whether you 
forbear, we rawft, as we fliall give anfwer to the great 
Shepherd of the fheep, deal 'plainly with you. Confider 
but that one fcripture, Lev. xix. 17. and ye will fee re- 
proof to be an aft of great love, and that the negledl of it 
in God's account is hatred : u Thou ihalt not hate thy 
brother in thine heart. Thou ihalt in any ways rebuke 
thy neighbour, and not fufFer fin upon him ;" or, as the 
laft claufe may be rendered, That thou bear not fin for him. 
Now, if you follow tbefe advices, and if there be a fingle 
eye to God, and clofe dependence upon him, both in min- 
ifter and people, mutual. love and helpfulnefs, and a joint 
endeavour to promote the great defign of the miniflry, 
the glory of God in our own falvation, then our labour 
fhall not be in vain, but fliall be blened with increafe, 
and God, even our God, fhall hie fa us. 


"( 3» ■) ' 




. PAR T I. 


Rom. iii. 23.— *For all have finned, and come fart of the 
glory of God. 

WHOEVER confiders his prefent condition, will foon 
fee, that his great bufinefs and chief, concern lies 
in three important inquiries: li What have I done?" 
Jer. viii. 6. « What ihall I do to be faved >" A£t xvi. 
30. u What (hall I render to the Lord >" Pfal. cxvi. iz. 
The anfwer of the firft will make way fcr the fecond, and 
that will give occafion for the third. 

' Though wife men have bufied their heads, and toiled them- 
felves with wearifome inquiries after happinefs ; yet none 
of them could ever give men a fatisfying anfwer to any one 
of thefe three queries. But what they by their wifdom 
could not do, that God, in his infinite wifdom and unpar- 
alleled goodncfs has done, to the fatisfacYion of all rational 
inquirers, in the fcriptures of truth. 

If it be inquired, What have we done ? our text an- 

fwers, All men have finned, and come fiiort of the glory of 

&<?<£ If the queftion be put, What iliaAl v<$ do to be f*- 


red ? look Atfs xvi. 31. and there we are bid 4i believe 
on the Lord Jeftis Chrift, and we ihall be faved." In 
fioc, ifweaflc, What we ihall render to the Lord for his 
matchlefs and unparalleled favour to us, we may turn to 
Pfel. cxvi 13. and there we are told what to do, u I will 
take the cup of falvation, and call upon the name of 
the Lord." And much to the fame purpofe is that of the 
prophet, Micah vi. 8. u He hath (hewed thee, O man 
what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, 
but to do juftlv, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly 
with thy God ?" 

The great concernment of gofpel-miniftsrs lies in the 
fecond inquiry. It is our principal bufinefs to perfuide 
men and women to believe on the name of the Lerrd Jefus 
Chrlfl, to commend our blefled . Maker to poor (\nners. 
But fmce we come not to call the righteous but frmyersto 
repentance, it is neceiTary we lay the foundation in a dif- 
covery of man's natural ftate. Before we ofFtr Chrift, 
we (hall /how you need him : before we tender mercy, we 
ihall endeavour to reprefent your mifery : before you be 
called to repentance, we ihall (hew you are Tinners, who 
(land in need of repentance. And upon this account we 
have made choice of the words now read, which do offer a 
fair occafion for a difcovery of your fin, and of your mi- 
fery. on that account. 

We ihall. not fpend time in confidering the connection of 
the words, which may perhaps afterwards fall more con- 
veniently in our way. 

The text is a general aifertion, in which all iland con- 
victed of ; and concluded under fin : for, 

The perfons to whom fin is attributed, are not fome 
ftngle perfons, to a feclufion of others, but all mankind* 
It is not fome degenerate wretches in the heathen world ; 
but all, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, high and low, 
who have finned and come ihort of the glory of God. 

It is not aflerted of them, that they may fin, that they 
are fallible, and if artfully plied by a temptation, may 
betaken off their feet; but that they all are already involv- 
ed in the guilt of fin, and have thereby come ihort of the 
glory of God. The original word, which is here render- 
ed cornejhort, is emphatical ; it proptt\v Cx^cufe* v* ^a\\ 


fliort of the mark one aims at, or to fall behind in a race, 
whereby the prize is loft. Man in his firft eftate was in a 
fair way for glory : power he had to ran the race, and 
the devil had no power to flop him in it ; he had not fuch 
weights as we now are clogged with, and yet he fell fliort 
of the glory of God % i. e. he loft that glory in the en- 
joyment of God, which he had fo good a profpedt of; he 
loft the image of God, which was his glory, given him of 
God, with all the confequeniial advantages of it. 

We need not drawr any doclrine from the words ; they 
themfelves do exprefs that which we defign to infill upon. 

Doct. u That all men and women, defcending from 
Adam in an ordinary way, have fumed, and thereby 
come fhort of the glory of God." 

This do&rine, (landing fo clear in the words, faper- 
cedes any further proof; and therefore we fhall not fpend 
time in producing other fcriptures averting the fame thing. 

Before we apply this truth, we fhall, 

I. Premife a few propefitions for clearing the way to 
the further explication of this great and momentous truth. 

II. We fhall inquire what fin formerly implies. 

III. Mentions property or two of it. 

IV. Inquire into the import of this all in the text. 

V. Shew what is implied in this ex predion, Come fhort 
of the glory of God. 

VI. Whence it is that all have finned, and thereby come 
fliort of the glory of God* 

Now each of thefe in order. And, 

I. We fhall premife a few propofitions for clearing the 
way to what we further defign in the explication of this 
truth. The 

ift Propofition we offer to you is, That God is the abfo* 
lute and independent Sovereign of the world. Men do often 
ufurp an abfolute pewer over their fubjecls, and claim a 
blind and unlimited obedience ; but they had need take heed 
,fhey do not invade God's right, and that which is his 
fovereign prerogative. He, and he only, is abfolute 
Lord and King of the earth, as the Pfalmift fings in 




PfaJ. xlvii. 2. u The Lord rood high is terrible; he is 
a great ICing over all the earth." And indeed he alone is 
fit to manage fo great a province; forafmuch as there is 
44 none among the gods like unto him, neither are there any 
works like unto his," Pfal. Ixxxvi. 8. His claim is found- 
ed upon the excellency of his nature, Jer. x. 6, 7. " For - 
afmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord, thou art 
great, and thy name is great in might, who would not 
fear thee, O King of nations ? For to thee doth it apper- 
tain, forafmuch as there i* none like unto thee:" And 
upon bis creation of all things, u The Lord is a great 
King above all gods. The fea is his, and he made it," 
Pfal. xcv. 3. 5. 4 * O Jacob and Ifrael, thou art my ter- 
vant,"I have formed thee, thou art my fervant, O Ifrael," 
lfa. xliv. 21. In fine, his prefervation of all things, and 
the manifold mercies he loads his creatures withj do give 
him the noblefl title to abfolute dominion; and his glo- 
rious perfections of wifdom, power, holinefs, and jullice, 
do not only fit him for it, but make his fway defirable to 
all who tinderftand their own intered. 

id, Take this propofiti on, God the abfolute Sovereign of 
the world has pre fcribtd laws to all his creatures , by which he 
governs them. Not to fpeak of thefe laws which he has giv- 
en to the inanimate part of the creation, he has preicribed 
men their work, he has given them his laws, whereby they 
are indifpenfibly obliged to live. u There is one Lawpir- 
er, who is able to fave and deftroy," James i. 12. " The 
Lord is Judge, King, and Lawgiver," lfa, xxxiii. 22. We 
are not in any thing left altogether arbitrary. He who 
has faid to the fea, " Hitherto (halt thou come, and no far- 
ther," has dealt fo likewife with, man ; he has limited him 
on every hand by hi3 holy laws, the inconteftible ftatutes 
of heaven. We are obliged to eat, drink, fleep, converfe, 
and do every thing by rule: God has fet us our bounds as 
to all thefe thing, and thither fhould we come, and no fur- 
ther. Indeed, thefe limits God has fet us are not fuch as 
he fet s to the waves of the tumultuous fea: nc, he deals 
with us in a way fuited to our nature; he has fet fuch lim- 
its as none can pafs, till they act in direct contradiction to 
their very natures, till they abandon a due confide ration 
of that wherein their greateft and chiefeft inured l\**\ •&* 
will appear plain enough from that wVicH >»* frtJta^ \* \Y* 


3</ Place, for clearing the way, That great Lawgiver of ' 
the world has annexed rewards and punijhments te tkofe laws 
he has made. The authority of God is a tender point in. 
deed. He has faid, u he will not give his glory to ano-* 
ther," and therefore he has taken care to guard the laws 
he has made with fuitable rewards and puniihments. God 
indeed is not obliged to give ihan any further reward for 
his obedience, than what flows from the obedience itfelf, 
which is fufficient to be a reward to itfelf; for " in keep- 
ing God's commands there is great reward," Pfal. xix. u. 
But fuch is his matchlefs and unbounded goodnefs, that he 
propofed no lefs reward of obedience than eternal life; a 
reward fuitable to man's obedience, which deferves no fuch 
thing, but to the bounty of the giver. On the other hand, 
again, he has annexed a dreadful penalty to his laws, break 
them we may if we will; for God has not made it impof- 
fible we fhould ; but if we do, then the heavy curfe of God 
will follow us. u Curfed is every one that continueth not 
in all things written in the book of the law to do them." 
The fame mouth that pronounced law, pronounces the 
the curfe, Gal. iii. 10. And we know, whom he curfes 
they are curfed) and whom he blejfeth they are blejfed in. 

4th f Thefe laws, which God has given us to walk by, 
have a fourfold property mentioned by the apoftle, Rom. 
vii. 12, " Wherefore the law is holy, and the command- 
ment holy, juft, and good;" and ver« 14.*' We know that 
the law is fpiritual, but I am carnal, fold under fin. 

1.. We fay it is holy ; the law of God is the exadt tran- 
fcript of the holy will of God. There is nothing in it dif- ' 
agreeable to, or unworthy ©f the holy God, who always 
acls like himfelf, and is of purer eyes than to behold ini- 
quity, or look upon fin. 

2. It is /a/2. It is the very meafure of all juftice among ' 
men. It is a law that gives God his due and man his: nay, 
man has no right or property in, or title to, any thing 
but from this. law. What this makes his, is fo, and no 
more can julUy be claimed. 

3. It is good, It is not a law made to gratify the lufts of 
an earth-worm, it is not a law 'made without regard to the 
advantage of thofe who live under it; but God, in framing 
his law, has exaclly con fide red what mi^ht be for man's 


good, both in time and in eternity ; and has, in matchleis 
goodnefs and infinite wifdom, ordered the matter fo, that 
duty and intereft go ever together, and a man can never 
ad again ft jiisduty, but he wrongs his real intereft, even 
a bit r acting from the confederation of future rewards and 
puniihments io another life. 

4. The law is fpiritual. It is not fuch a law as is pre- 
scribed by man, which only reaches the outward man; no, 
it is fpiritual, reaching to the foul and all its inward act- 
ings. It prescribes bounds to the fpirits of men, obliging 
them to inward obedience and conformity to it in their mo- 
tions, inclinations, and affections; not a thought, nay, 
nor the tircumdance of a thought, but falls under this 
fpiritual and extenfive law, which made the Pfalmifc 
fay, U I have fcen an end of all perfection, but thy com- 
mandment is. exceeding broad," Pfal. cxix. 96. 

The way being thus cleared, we (hall now, in the 

Second place, (how you what fin is. Sin, which Is here 
charged upon all, properly and formally imports j^ 

1. A want of conformity to the lawj of which we have 
been difcourfing. The law requries and enjoins duty. It 
obliges us not only to actions fo and fo qualified, but to 
have a right principle of action ; it not only enjoins holy 
t-houghts, holy word*, and holy actions, but moreover it 
requires that the very frame and temper of our hearts be 
holy; and when we fall fhort of this, then we iln. That 
the law obliges us as to the frame of our heart, is plain, 
fince it requires that the tree be good as well as the fruit ; 
that the werfhip and fervice we perform to God be with 
the whole ftrength, foul, and heart, 

X. Sin imports a tranfgre/fion of the law, for u fin is a 
tranfgreffion of the law," 1 John iii. 4. Indeed, when 
trail! greflion is taken in a large fenfe, it comprehends all 
fin; but it may be, and is frequently reflricted to actual 
fins, and fins of commiflion ; as the former branch of the 
description is to original (in, and fins of cmiffion. Sin is 
an oppofition to the law of God. God bids do,arife, work; 
man tranfgrefVes the command, and fits fiill idle. God for- 
bids fuch and fuch finful actions, man does them in oppofi- 
tion to the command of God, which flows from a contempt 
of God** authority ; fo that we may fay, 

3. That every fin implies, in its £oTma\Ttt\\ttfc>conttm^t 


of God) as that which is its fource. Sin flows from a fe- 
cret enmity of heart againft the Almighty, and therefore 
carries in it a high contempt of him. It may be, men are 
io blind that they cannot difcern any fuch thing in it ; but 
God makes breaking the law, and defpifing or contemning 
ihe law, to be all one, Amos ii. 4. " Thus faith the Lord, 
For three tranfgrefllons of Judah, and for four, I will not 
turn away the punilhment thereof, becaufe they have def- 
pifeJ the law of the Lord, and have not kept his com- 
iijandncnts, and their lies canfed them to err, after the which 
their fathers have walked." Sin in moft men's eyes is a 
lnrmlefs thing; but how far otherwife would it be if its 
nature were feen in a juft light by the-eye of faith; if we 
law it trampling upon God's authority, goodnefs, and ho. 
linefs, and even endeavouring as it were to ungod him. 

But that ye may further underfland what fin is, we ihall, 
in the 

Third place, mention a twofold infeparable property or 
adjunct of fin, with which it is ever attended. And, 

i- Sin is the defilement of the foul \ fin is a filthy thing. 
The beauty, the glory of man, confifts in his conformity 
to the holy and pure law of God, and in as far as he devi, 
eves from that, in fo far is he defiled and polluted. Every (in 
hath a Satan in it, and robs the foul of its beauty, occa- 
f.ons a fort of loathfomenefs, whereby, in the eyes of God, 
?iid even of itlelf, it becomes ugly and abominable; it is 
the abominable thing which God hates, u Oh. do not this 
abominable thing that I hate," faith the Lord, Jer. xliv. 
4. The natural flate of man is, upon the account of this 
lilthinefs, compared to a wretched infant that is caft out, 
iL ')[) all its natural pollutions," Ezek. xvi« and to every 
tiling elfe that is filthy, to puddle, mire, and dirt, and to a 
inenilruous cloth ; but yet all of them are not fufficient to 
give a juft idea of its filthinefs, 

2. Sin, as it is attended with filthy fo it is attended with 
guilt. It makes the (inner guilty; it obliges him to under- 
go the penalty which God has annexed to his law ; it car* 
rics ever along with it a title to the curfe of God* When 
the law of GoJ is confidered as that which represents his 
holinefs and fpotlefs purity, whereby it becomes the mea- 
sure and ftandard of all beauty, glory, and purity, to us* 
then fin, as it /rands oppofed to it in this refpetf, is looked 


upon asaflain, a blot, a defilement : but as the law to 
God carries on it the impreffion of his royal authority, 
the breach of it binds over to juft pumfiiment for the re- 
paration of the honour of that contemned authority. 

Thus we fee what it is that all men are charged with. 
God here lays home to them a breach of law, reprefenu 
them as condemned and guilty, deformtd and defiled crea- 
tures. ** All men have finned," every one has broken the 
holy, juft, good, and fpiritual law of the great Sovereign 
of the world; all are guilty of a contempt of his author ity T 
all are defiled with that abominable thing which his foul 
hates. Left any cue fhould take occafion to clear himfelf, 
and fay, O I am not the perfou fpoken of, I never con- 
temned God, I never defiled myfelf, and fo lam not guilty 
of that which is charged upon mankind. Left any (hou?d 
fay, I am clean, God has put a bar upon this door, by ex- 
tending the charge to all without exception, 

And fo I come, in the 

fourth place, to inquire into the import of this univer- 
sal particle all in my text; and it imports, 

i//, That perfons of all ages are involved in the fame 
common mifery. Young and old have finned. The fuck* 
ling upon the breaft, as well as the old man that is (loop- 
ing into the grave. None needs envy another. The old man 
needs not envy theinnocency of the infant of days, for the 
youngefl: carries as much fin into the world as renders it 
ugly, deformed, and guilty. Indeed there are who have 
not finned at the rate that others have done. Children 
have not finned " after the fimilitnde of Adam's tranfgreL 
fion," Rom. v* 14. their age would not allow them; but 
fin enough they have derived to them from Adam to damn, 
to defile them. 

2d, Perfons of all profeffions, Jew and Gentile, whatever 
their religious profefiion be. This evil is not confined to 
thofe of one religion, but is extended to all: the apoftle 
fums up all mankind, as to religion, under two heads, Jew 
and Gentile; and at large, in the foregoing part of this 
epiftle,. proves them both to be finners. 

3</, All ranks of perfons, high and low, rich and poor. 
This is not an evil of which the prince can free himfelf 
more than the peafant. Thofe who may bs fl\\\Vv&<^ \\v 
gYifterwg apparel are upon ihh account V\\*. *xA fcfcOo^ 


as the toad they cannot endure to look upon: thefe who 
may condemn or abfolve others, may themfelves be under 
a fentence of condemnation ; nay, it really is fo with all 
who are not faved frori their fins. Even thefe very men 
■who have fometimes forgot themfelves fo far, as to advance 
themfelves above the laws, are yet not only fubjecl to Goli's 
law, but lying under an obligation to puniflmient on ac- 
count of their breaches of this holy, juft and good law. 

4. Perfons/» all generations are guilty. It was not on- 
ly fome poor wretches in the old world which God fwept 
off the face of the earth by a flood, that have finned, but 
perfons of all ages, ranks, and qualities, in all generations. 
There is not one exception among all the natural defend- 
ants of Adam, man nor. woman, great nor ("mail, rich nor 
poor, king nor beggar, all have finned, from the greateft 
to the leaft. None can juftly upbraid another with what 
he has done in this matter, finceall are in the provocation : 
All have finned, rand comefliort of the glory of God. 

And this leads us to that which we did, in the next 
place, propofe to difcourfe of to you, viz. 

Fifth, The import of this coming Jiiort of the glory ofGcd* 
And this takes in or implies, 

i/?, That man has fallen ihort of that glory which he 
had by the conformity of his nature to God. Man is faid, 
1 Cor. xi. 7. to be u the image and glory of God?" and 
indeed fo was he in his fir ft and bed eftate. O what of 
God was there in innocent Adam ! A mind full of light ; 
how wonderfully did it reprefent that God who is light, 
and in whom there is no darknefs at all I A pure foul, the 
exact tranfcript of the divine purity 1 The reft of the 
creatures had in them fome darker reprefentations of the 
#!ory of Gjd'i wifdom and power, but o\\\y man, of all 
the creatures in the lower world, was capable to reprefent 
the h >linefs, righteoufnefs, and purity, and other ration- 
al perfections, of the ever-bleffcjd Deity ; and upon this 
account man was u the glory of God." God, as it were, 
gloried in him 3S the mafter-piece of the vifible creation, 
in whom alone more of God was to be feen than in all 
the reft befide. This man ha? now loft; he has fallen fiiort 
o[' the beauty and glorv, which made him u the glory of 
*a$ Man has loft the glory h« had, as ht via* xVit te?utv 


of the great God in this lower world. He was made lord of 
God's handy works upon earth ; and all the creatures in 
it paid their homage to hira, when they came and receiv- 
ed their names from him in paradife ; but now the "crown 
is fallen from his head ;" he has come fliort of this glory ;- 
the creatures refufe fubjecVion to him* 

3*/, Man is come fliort of the glory he had in the enjoy- 
ment of God in paradife* It was man's glory, honour, 
ai:d happinefs, to be allowed a more than ordinary familia- 
rity with God, God and Adam con ver fed together in pa. 
radife. He was allowed the company of God: that made 
his (late happy indeed* What could man want, while the 
all-funicient God kept up fo elofe, fo blefled am d comforta- 
ble a familiarity with him,, and daily loaded him with his 
favours? But this he has come fliort of. 

4/^1 Man has come fliort of that glory he had the profpett' 
of. God fet him fairly on the way, and did furiiifli him 
fufficiently for a journey to eternal, unchangeable, never- 
fading glory ; but this he has come fliort of; and this in- 
deed follows natively upon the former* Tfiit is indeed 
much, but we conceive this is not all that the exprtflion 
has in it; nay, certainly there is more in it: this falling 
fliort, though it only ftems to point at the negative, yet 
certainly it takes in the pofitive ; and we therefore fay,, 
that this exprefHon, in the 

5M place, implies not only man's lofs of his original beau~ 
ty and glory 1 in a conformity to the image of God, but that 
he has fallen in the mire, and is defiled by fin. He who 
fometime a-day was the image and glory of God, is now 
more filthy than the ground he treadVon, than the mire 
of the flreet, than the loathelome toad* 

6th , Not only has he loft: the dominion he had, but he 
i-s become a/lave to fin. He who fometime a-day looked 
like a god in the world v is now debafed down to hell. He 
to whom the creatures once veiled as to their fovereign,. 
now daily ftands in danger of his life by them, and lies o- 
pen to the infults of the meaneftof them. 

ythj Not only h?.s he loft the fweet aod foul-ravifliing. 
communion he had with God, but now he is, as it were 
fear ce capable to look towards him ; the fight of God, which 
once was his life, is now to him as death, 

8/Ay, Not Qnljr has man forfeited Vus \.\v\* x^fviiute W$^ 


pinefs % but, which is worfe, he is, by fin, entitled to future , 
eternal, inconceivable mifery and woe. A dreadful com- 
ing fhort this is indeed. From how high a hope, into what 
an inconceivable abyfs of mifery and woe, is poor maq 
fallen by fin ! u The crown' is fallen from his head." He 
was a little hence all beauty, glory, excellency, and come- 
linefs ; but now, alas ! «e may groan out an Ichabod over 
him ! where is the glory ? 

We come now, in the 

Sixth place, to inquire into the fource and fpring of ail 
this mifery and woe. How and whence is it that all are 
involved in the guilt of fin ; and that this fad and aflliclnrg 
calamity flows ? 

i/?, From the guilt of Adam's firfl fin. Adam, by the 
holy, wife, jutt, and good appointment of God, flood m 
the room of all his polterity . Had he ftood, in him we all 
had flood, and retained 'the innocency and integrity of oar 
natures, the favour, love, and kindnefs of heaven ; but 
tie falling into Jin , in him we all finned; and by the difo- 
be4}ence of this one man, we all were made finners ; as 
the apoftle doth at large difcourfe, Rom. v. from the 12th 
verfe and downwards. This, this is the poifoned fpring 
whence all our fin, all our forrow and* mifery flows. 

2fiT, This flows from the natural depravity of the mint 
tfmaiiy that is tranfmitted to hs fFom our progenitors.. 
4< We are Unpen in iniquity,, and in fin did our mother 
conceive us." We received a fatal ftrcke when firfl:' form- " 
ed in the womb, as the Pfalmift complains, Pfal. )i. 5* j 
And indeed there is none can bring a clean thing out of an '- 
unclean. Our in refled' parents transferred to us the infeclibn J 
©f fin. Sin runs in our blood, and our natures have a- j 
natural inclination to u evil,, only to evil, and that contin- f 
nally," Gen. vi. 5. 

3</, This flows from abounding temptations . As our i 
hearts are wicked, and fet only on evil ; fo every thing, ■ 
in this prefent diforder on account of fin, is fuited* to . 
carry on the infection. The creatures^ by reafon of fin,, 
are made fubjeit to vanity. They are made fubfervient to 
the lufts of men ; the devil and our corrupt hearts daily 
abufe them to this end ; and by thefe meaii3 it is that all 
men have fumed, and thereby come fiiort of the glory of \ 
G*<f. 1 


The application is that which we principally defigned i.i 
the choice of this fubjccl ; and therefore we have but na- 
med things in the do&rinal part. And now we come to 
improve the whole. 

That which we defign chiefly in the improvement of 
this, is an life of convitthn. Some days ago, we came to 
yo:i proclaiming the grace, mercy, and love of God in 
Chrift Jefus ; now we come to accufe you as guilty of fin. 
The defign of our doing fo is indeed the advancement of 
the glory of Chrift, and in him of the grace and mercy 
of the Lord God, But our prefent work in itfelf is fuch, 
as doth not in its own nature look that way, though^ by 
the infinite wifdom and goodnefs of God, it be made fub- 
fervient thereunto. 

u You are all here prefent before v the Lord, to hear what 
God the Lord will fpeak unto you ;" and, as- Ehud faid to 
Eglon, king of Moab, fo we fay to you, u We have a 
meflage from God to you," Judges iii. zc. A fad meflage, 
not much unlike to that which Ehud brought to EgJon, 
a meflage of death. We come this day to you, to implead 

. you in God's name as guilty of fin. The meflage is not to 
fome particular grofs offenders, but to every foul now 
u prefent before the Lord ;" to the child, to the young 
man and msid, to thofe of riper years, and to them who 
are old, and ftoop under the weight of many years. 

u In the name, and at the inftance of the great, the 
terrible God, the King, the Lord of hofts," whofe name 
is dreadful among the heathen, Mai. i. 14. <4 that eonrlrm- 

" eth the word ot his fervanls, and performeth the counfel 
ef his meflengers," Ifa. xliv. 2,6. we are to implead, im- 
peach, and accufe every foul here prefent as guilty of fin. 
'Hitherto we have fpoken in the general, which, it may 
be, has been no batter to yoii than Nathan's parable to 
David. It may be fome of you have been faying, thart 
the foul that has finned has defer vedly fallen fliort of the 
glory of God, and fallen under the wrath of God r but 
now what we faid before in general, we come to fay in 
particular to every one of you, as Nathan did to David, 
** Thou art the man, thou art the woman, thou art the 
child, the young man, or the maid, who haft finned, and 
thereby come fhort of the glory of God? 1 

Now,, that we may. be fuccetaftA va \V\* N^tY v ^ 


bring you, if poffible, to uriderftand your flats and condi- 
tion, we (hall, 

Firfl, Read and open, as it were, the charge and inditl- 
ment, we do in God's name bring againft you. 

Secondly, Lead witneJJ'es, whereby we fhall prove it a- 
gainfl: yon all in general. 

Thirdly, Endeavour, particularly, by arguments to make 
our charge good, i/?, Againit children and young men; 
zd, Againft thefe of a middle age ; and 3d, Againft old 
men and women. This we fliall do, as it were, by taking 
you to the places, the companies, and occafions, where you 
have finned, and incurred the guilt now charged on you. 

Fourthly, Show what fails faction our great Lord demand* 
againjl J'uch traitors . 

Fifthly, What reafon he has to require it. Ani then, 

Sixthly, Endeavour to reprefent to you your mifery upon 
this account. , 

Firfi, The charge we lay againft you, is not fome petty> r 
fome fmall mi/demeanour, that may be atoned for by a 
bare acknowledgment, by fome pitiful mock, God have 
mercy upon me m No ; the charge draws deep, it is no lefs 
crime than that of fin, fin againft the great Sovereign of 
the world. Ye all have finned. O ! if y« knew what a 
world of evil is in that curfed thing, fin ! When we fay, 
Ye have finned, you are ready to fay, O ! we know that 
well enough. Is this ail ye have to fay } When we heard 
of fuch a dreadful thing as a charge and indictment in tfie- 
name of God againft us, when we heard of leading wit- 
nefles, and all the other parts of a trial t we did appre- 
hend there was fome terrible thing a-coming, fome dread- 
ful unheard* of evil to be laid home to our door ; but ' 
now we find there is nothing faid againft ns, but only that 
we are finners r and who will deny this ? who knows it 
not? and this is but the common lot. "God be merciful 
to us,'' we are alt finners; and there the repentance oi 
moil is done; their fores are healed, and tjiey can live, 
and it may be die, without any fear in this cafe : fuch light 
apprebenfions have the moft part of fin. 

Thefe, thefe, it may be, are the apprehenfions of not a 

few of you, upon hearing the charge: but if there be not 

b)/sd m'mAb 9 fbut eyes, deaf ears, and dreadfully hard* 

iu&rts among us, ere all be dope, Toms of 70U V\\\ 7 \xt®»t 



be, change your minds, and think this a very dreadful 
and heavy charge. If God would now concur by his Spirit, 
and enable us to manage our work to purpofe, if he would 
let out the convincing influences of his Spirit, the weight 
of this charge would prefs you fo as 10 make your hearts 
fall and fink within you. 

Sin is an ordinary word, a little word, and mod men 
do apprehend that there is but little in it: but miflake it 
not; thtreis much in it, more than angels or nren caa 
ever difcover, or fully unfold. Yet that all this that we 
have (aid may not ft era a groundlefs allegation, I lhall, 
1/?, Set up to you fome glafTes, wherein you may get a 
view of fiVs ugly face ; or I ihall, as Balak did to Balaam, 
take you to fuch plates, where you may get a fight of its 
formidable nature, power, and malignity. ?.dly, I (hall tell 
you of fome dreadful and monjlrous evils that are lodged in 
every fin, the lead idle thought or word. And, $dly, I 
/hall mention fome killing aggravations that your fins are 
clothed with, that put an accent upon thein, and enhance 
their guilt. And this will let you fee the great evil of 
fin ; this will open your indiclment. 

i/?» We fhall give you fome profpefts efjin. It may be, 
many 0/ you do think but very little of fin ; but here I dc* 
fire you to come and look at it, 

1. In theglafs of God's law* See the holy, the high and 
exalted God, exhibiting his mind and will in two ta- 
bles, tables containing fafe, good, holy, juft, fpiritual, 
and everyway advantageous rules, for that creature whom 
God has taken fo diftinguifliing and particular a care of. 
Well, what fhall we fee of fin here? Here, O here, you 
may fee fin breaking, nay daftiing to pieces, thefe two ta- 
bles, in a worfe fenfe than Mofes did, Exod. xxxii. 19. 
Every fin, the leaft fin, throws them both to the ground ; 
for, as the apoftle James tells us, " Whofoever ilia 11 keep 
the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of 
all," James ii. 10. Is it fmall thing to you to trample 
upon, to tread under foot, the holy, the righteous law 
of God, that is the perfeft image and reprefentation of all 
his holiinefs and fpotlefs purity ? but if yet ye will not fee 
the cur fed nature of fin, then we bid you, in the 

2d place, take a view of it in the nature of the great dod^ 
the feat of all majefty, glory, beauty, and txw\\«^ \ *xA 


it you look at it here, O how ugly will it appear I No«* 
thing in all the world contrary and oppofite to the nature 
of God, but fin. The meaneft, the moft apparently deform- 
ed creature in the world, the toad, the crawling infe&, 
carries in its nature nothing really oppofite to the nature 
of God ; fin, only fin, {lands in opposition to him. This 
he cannot dwell with: u Evil ilia if not dwell with hiin, 
nor finners ftand in his fight." Such is that abhorrence that 
God has at fin, that when he fpeaks of it, his heart as it 
were rifes againft it, u Oh do not that abominable thing 
which 1 haie !" as in that fore-cited Jer. xliv. 4. And if 
yet ye will not fee its finfulnefs, I will take you where 
you may fee more of it. Go take a view of it, 

3. \\\ the threatening* of the law ^ and fee there what es- 
timate God puts on it, and what a thing it is. All the pow- , 
er of heaven, the anger, the fury, the vengeance of Gad, 
all are levelled at the head of (In. Take but one in (lance 
for all, in in that 7th of Jofhua; there a people accoftom- 
ed to victory turn their back before the enemy, fall 
a prey to a people devoted to deftruftion ; nay, moreover, 
God in the 12th verfe, calls all the people accurfed, and 
tells them, they cannot ftand before the enemy, u neither 
will I be withyou any more," fays he. Why? what is 
the matter? wherefore is the heat of all this anger? what . 
meaneth this vengeance? The matter was, there was a 
fin committed ; Achan had taken fomeof the fpoils of the 
enemy. Thus you fee, one fin makes God breathe out 
threatenings againft a whole nation. In fine, look through 
the book of God, and there you fljall fee one threatening 
big with temporal^ another with eternal plagues ; one full 
of external^ another of internal and fpmtugl woes ; and all . 
as it were levelled at the head of fin. And is that a fmall 
matter which never fails to fet out all the vengeance of hea* 
ven againft the perfon that is guilty of it? Bat yet this 
is not all, you may fee more, if ye look at it r 

4, In the judgments of Gcd, that are abroad in the earth* 
Look we to ons nation, there we fhall fee t hou fan ds fal- 
ling before the avenging enemy, the /word glutted as it 
were with blood; men who a little before were poffefled 
of wifdom, courage, and all thole endowments which ferve 
to enhance the worth of the fons of men, are here laid heaps 
u/>i>rt Ataps v Go we to another, there vte ftuAlfct wa few- 


er carried off by ficknefs and difeafes, and all wearing out 
by time. Go to church-yards, aud fee what vaft havoclc 
thefe do make ; there you may fee the rubbifh of many ge- 
nerations laid heaps upon heaps. Well, fee you nothing of 
(in in all this ? What think you of all thefe lamentable 
evils, miferies, and woes ? Why, fee you nothing of /In 
in them all? Sure you are blind if you do not. I rfk 
you, as Jehu did when he faw the dead fons of Ahab, 
% Kings x. 9, " Who fkw all thefe >" Who brought all 
thefe Tons of pride, who not long ago were ftrangely ruf- 
fling it out in the light of warlike glory, down 10 the fides 
of the pit ? who filled your church-yards with heaps up. 
on heaps, fathers and fons, high and low, rich and poor, 
of all fexes, ranks, agef, and degrees ? Surely fin has 
done this ; for as u by one man fin entered iuto the world, 
and death by fin ; and fo death pa (Ted upon all men, for 
that all have finned," Rom. v. 12. But if ftill you will 
look upon fin as a fmall and light thing, we have yet ano- 
ther glafs wherein you may have a further fight of it. 

5. Enter the houfe of a foul under trouble of confidence 2 
look at a Heman, and you (hall hear him making a heavy 
moan in that 88th Pfalm ; there you fee a man that has a 
foul full of trouble, oppretfed with all the waves and bil- 
lows of the wrath of God, almoft diftracted with the ter- 
rors of God. Now if yon faw one in this cafe crying out 
inanguifh of fpirit, nay, it may be, tearing himfelf beat* 
ing his breafl, alk him thereafon of all this diftrefs, he will 
tell you, that it is fin that has done all this. He has no 
red in his bones for ills that be has done, Pfal. xxxviii. 3. 
And if yet ye have not feen enough of the finfulnefs and 
evil of fin, I (ball give you another profpect of it, 

6. In the hateful, monfirous, and enormous crimes, that 
are committed in the world. Some fins there are which 
bring along with them infarfty and difgrace, even before 
men. Human nature, as corrupt as it is, Jhrinks at fome 
fins, they carry in them fuch an evident contrariety to the 
faint remains of natural light. Sins there are, which, as. 
the apoftle fays, 1 Cor. v. 1. u are not fo much as named 
among the Gentiles." Now, if a man be guilty of any of 
thefe crying abominations, thefe crimjon fins, then he be, 
comes odious in the world. Call a man a muTdttee^ *xv'vft- 
ceftous pcrfoo, aa stbufcr of his parents* ot xtaYtat^ «**.vi 


fober pcrfon will flee from, and fliun as a pell, the compa- 
ny of fuch an one. But why ? what is the matter ? what 
is there fo odious in thefe crimes, that every one. flees 
from the perfon guilty oFtbem ? there is Jin in them, and 
hence it is they are fo hateful: and the only thing that 
diftinguifheth thefe from others, is, that they have difftr. 
ent circumftantial aggravations : for in the nature ef Jin 
they all do agree, the lea ft and the great eft ; the leaft fin 
(hikes at the holy law of God, contemns the authority of 
the great and fupreme Lawgiver, as well as the greateft 
doth. And if fin be fo odious when you get a fuller view of 
it, as it were, in thefe large, thefe great and crying provo- 
cations, it is no left fo when it is lefs perceptible in thefe 
fins which quadrate better with our vitiated and corrup- 
ted natures ; for indeed the difference among fins, as to 
greater and lefs, lies riot fo much in the nature of the fins, 
as in their different refpecls to our understanding, arifing 
from the objects about which they were converfant. But, 
if after all thefe views of fin, your eyes are fo blinded that 
you cannot fee it, then come to take a view of it, 

7. In the cafe of the damned. Here, here you may have 
a ftrauge, and heart-afiecYjng view of In's ugly face. See 
the poor wretches lying in bundles, boiling eternally in 
that ftream of briroftonp, roaring under the intolerable, 
and yet eternal anguijli of their fpirits. Take a furvey of 
them in this lamentable pofture. If }ou fhould fee fome 
hundreds of men, women, and children, all thrown alive 
into burning pitch or melted lead, would not th's prefent 
you with a fad fcene of tnifery and woe f would not 'thig 
be a difmal fight > indeed it would be fo. But all this is 
nothing to the unfpeakable mifery of the devils and dam* 
ned, who have fallen into the hands of the living andfin- 
revenging God) and are laid in chains of ma(Ty and thick 
darknefs, eternally depreffed and funk into the bottom lefs 
depth of the wrath of God, and choaked with the (learn 
of that lake of fire and brimflone ; and have ev try faculty 
of their foul, every joint of their body, brim-full of the fu- 
ry of the eternal God: behold, and wonder at this terrible 
and aftonifliing fight ; and in this lake a view of fin. Were 
hell now opened, and faw you the damned in chains of 
darknefs, and if you heard their dreadful yelling, and 
found the /learn of the bottomlefe ^\t > ye would then in 


every fenfe get fome difcovery of fin. It is only fin that 
has kindled that dreadful and inextinguijhable fire of wrath, 
and caft the damned into it ; and it is fin that holds them 
there, and torments them there. If you had but a juft im« 
preffion of thefe things, how hateful would it be to yon > 
And if, after all that has been faid, yon dill imagine that 
fin is not fo bad as we would reprefent it, then come once 
more, and take a view of it, 

3. In the fufferings ofChrift. Here is aglafs, O crimi- 
nals i wherein you may fee your own face. You think 
it a little thing that you have finned ; nay, it may br, 
you roll fin * 4 as a fweet morfel under your tongues," 
But-come here, and fee what a thing it is which you thus 
dreadfully miftake ! Come fee it holding the fiverd ; O 
flrange ! nay more, thru/ling it into Chrift % s fide I Here, 
/inners, is a fight that made the earth to tremble, and the 
fun to hide his face, as we fee, Matth. xxvii. 51. Luke 
xxiii. 45. In this glafs you may fee, (1.) What God's 
thoughts of fin are* So highly oppofite to hit nature is it, 
that the bowels of affection he had to the Son of his love, 
whom he fo highly honoured, when the voice came from 
the excellent glory, faying, " This is my beloved Son in 
whom I am well pleafed," were not able to hold up the 
hand of inexorable juftice from firiking at him y nay, firik- 
ing him dead, for the fin of the ele& world. Would not 
that be a great proof think ye, of the averfion of a parent 
to any thing, if he would rather choofe to flay his fon, nay 
his only fon, his fon whom he loved moft tenderly, than 
it fliould efcape a mark of his difpleafiire ? (a.) Here you 
may fee more of the pollution of fin than any where elfe. 
Never was there any thing that gave fo juft apprehenfions 
of the ftain of fin, as the death ofChrift. An ingrained 
pollution it muft Indeed b», if no lefs will wafiiit cut than the 
blood of God. (3.) Here is a dreadful evidence of the power 
ff fin. Never did this more ^appear, than when it blind- 
fled the eyes of the degenerate fon? of men, fo far that they 
could not difcern " the glory of the only-hegotten of the 
Father, who was fo full of grace and truth," whofe divine 
nature daily beamed, as it were, through that of his hu. 
man, in miraculous operations, works, and words, which 
none but God could do, but God could fpeak. Audtv^ 
lefs was the power of' /in feen, when it \uui\t& x&tft \\eaA- 
.E \w& 


long into that heaven-daring pitch of impiety, to imbrm 
their hands In the blood of Gcd* O linners ! would you fee whal 
fin is ? look at it with its hands reeking in the gore anc 
blood of God, and tell what you think of it. 

But it is like, foaeof you may fay, What is this to the 
purpofe ? This is not the fin we are guilty of« We have 
never imbrued our hands in the blood of God, and fo here- 
in we cannot fee our crimes. This makes nothing to that 
which now you are doing, the unfolding the heinous nature 
of that crime you now implead us as guilty of before God. 
To this we anfwer, 

(i.) Should we grant what is alleged as to your inno- 
cenry in this matter, to be true, yet herein there is much 
efthe nature of your fin to be feen, fmce it partakes of the 
common nature of fin, with that of the murder of God* 
and fmce it is every way equal to, if not thai very fame % 
againft which God did evidence his hatred in fo wonderful 
a manner, in the death of his only begotten Son, whom 
" he fpared not, but gave to the death, when he laid on 
him the iniquity of the elefi world." But, 

(z.) We fay, that very fin lies at your door, O finners ! 
find if you deny it, I would only aflt you one qucftion, 
Dare you hole) up your faces, and in the fight of God fay, 
that you did receive Jefus Chrift the firft time ever there 
was an offer of him made to you ? If not, then you arc 
guilty, in that you praftically fay, that the putting him to 
death was no crime* You by your practice bear witnefs to, 
or aflert the juftice of the Jew's quarrel, and bring th« 
blood of God upon your head: and therefore in then 
crimes you may fee your own. All the world, to whom the 
gofpel-report comes, muft either be for or againft the Jewi 
in their profecution of him ; and no other wife can we give 
teftimony againft them, but by believing the gofpel-report 
of him, that he was indeed the Son of God, the Savioui 
of the world. In fo far as we refufe a compliance with 
this j in as far we are guilty of the death of Chrift : for un« 
belief fubferibes the Jew's charge againft the Son of God, 
andaflerts him an impoftor. 

(3.) Either you are believers or unbelievers 1 if believers, 
then it was for your very fins that Chrift was killed, it 
was for your iniquities he was bruifed ; u But he wai 
tvounded for our trafgreffiani) he was bruifed for our ini. 



qnities, the chaftifement of our peace was upon him, and 
with his ftripes we are healed. AM we like loft fheep have 
gone a dray : we have turned every one to his own way, 
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all," 
faith the prophet in the name of theelecl, Ifa. liii. 5. 6. 
If yon be unbelievers 9 then you do not believe the witnefa 
that Chrift gave of himfelf, that he is the Son of God ; and 
therefore do prattically declare him an impoftor, and wor- 
thy of death, and fo may fay of yourfelves, with refpeft 
to the Jew's cruelty, that when they condemned him, they 
had your confent to what they did. 

Now, what think ye, O criminals ! when we have, in 
thefe eight different glajfes, given yon a profpeft of the 
crime we implead you of ? Is it not a fearful one 7 If you 
be not ilrangely flupified, fure you mull: own it fo. But 
leaft t lie re mould be any fo blind, as not to difceru whit 
it is we accufe them of, we (hall, 

jutfy, Proceed to mention fome great evils that are all" 
implied in the leaft fin, in every provocation. This charge 
which we intend againft you is no mean thing. For, 

1. It has atheifm in it. An atheift, who denies the be- 
ing of a God, is a monfter in nature ; a creature fo ex- 
tremely degenerate, that fome have doubted, whether 
there ever was, or could be, any cf the fons of Adam fo 
debauched as in principle to avouch this monflrous un- 
truth. But there are practical atheifts, fnch as the apoftle 
mentions and charade rifes, Tit. i. 16/ u who profefs to 
know God, but in works deny him, being abominable and 
difobedient 5" or, as it is inthefirft language, " Children * 
of unperfuafion, or unperfuadable, and to every good 
work reprobate." That there are fucb, none can deny, 
fince every Tinner is in fome fort Juch, for every fin has 
atheifm in it. In the 14th and 53d p fa 1ms, we have a de- 
fcription of the natural (late of man ; and look to the 
fpripg of all the impieties, ver. 1. a The fool hath faid 
in his heart, There is 00 God ;" and then a train of la- 
mentable practical impieties follow ; " tiiey are corrupt, 
they have done abominable works, there is none that doth 
good." The P fa 1 mill doth not there difcourfe of fome 
profligate wretches among the Jews, or of the Gentiles 
who knew not God, but of the whole race of Adam, Jew 
and GeotiJr, sa the apoflle proves, ui Octt \o\\v > wvV^ 


and lath verfes of this chapter, wherein our text lies, 
when he adduces teftimonies from this plain?, to prove 
all and every one to have finned and come ihort of the 
glory of God. And indeed the thing proves itfelf. What I 
do not we deny his fovereignty, when we violate his laws ? 
Do not we deny and difgrace his holinefs, when we caft 
our filth before his face ? And we difparage his wifdoro* 
when we fet up our own will as the rule and guide of our 
actions. We deny his fuificiency, when we profefs that 
^ve find more in fin, or in the creature, than in him. In 
fine, every fin is a denial of all God's attributes, one way 
or other ; and therefore every fin has atheifm in it : fo 
that our charge againft you runs very high, it amounts to 
no lefs than an impeachment for atheifm : A crime, than 
which there is hot, nor indeed can there be any more odi- 
tus : for all other diftempers naturally fall in here ; ihey 
all iifue themfelves into this affeflion: and hence is it, 
that the atheift is generally fo odious and hateful; and 
yet even they who hate the atheift mod, want not atheifm g 
and they who will be moft forward to ijtieition this truth, 
that alhfinners are guilty of atheifm^ are, it is like, mbft 
guilty. This, then, is one branch of the charge laid againft 
you ; bat it is not all. For, 

2. We charge you all with idolatry. Sinners you are, 
and every fin hath idolatry in it. How can this be? will 
you fay, we never worfhipped an idol in ail our life, we 
never bowed at the name of a flrange god ? we blef3 God 
we were better taught than fo ; we were not bred papifts 
nor pagan?, but reformed Chrifrians, who renounce all 
idol?, and plead for the worlhipof one God alone. Well, 
notwithstanding of all this, idolaters you are. What! do 
you think that only the mere grofs aft of idolatry is reputed 
fuch by the holy God ? This certainly flows from your ig- 
norance of hlntj a-nd of his law* Did you underftand eU 
ther, you would never attempt your own jnflification. 
There is not only outward and grofs idolatry, but there 
is a more fecret and inward fort of it. A fet of men there 
were with whom the prophet Ezekiel had to do, who were 
a* formal and punctual in their attendance upon duties, 
X mean the external duties of religion, as you are: exter- 
nally in covenant with God they were* as you are: nor 
j$ it Improbable that they had now abandoned all external 


idolatry; for the Jews, after the Baby loniih captivity, in 
the time of which Ezekiel lived, never more followed 
idols as before. And yet hear the metfage thefe men have 
fent to them by the prophet, in the 14th chapter of hii 
prophecies, " Son of man," lays God to him, " thefe 
men have fet up their idols in their heart, and put the 
ftumbling-block of their iniquity before their face:" and 
fo he proceeds in the fequel of the chapter, from the 3d 
verfe and downwards, to threaten them with grievous and 
terrible punifliments. Every one that fet* up any thing 
in that room in his heart which is God's due, is an idola- 
ter i for idolatry is the transferring that lovr, efteein, 
confidence, truft, fear, revereuce, or obedience, which 
is due to God, to any creature. Now, who is net guilty 
of this, when he ferves fin ? doth he not obey either his 
own will, or the devil, in oppofition to the command of 
God, and thereby fubftitutes either himfelf or Satan into- 
God's room? Think, O think! upon this part of your 
charge, and tremble! But to proceed, 

3. Every fin has blafphemy in it, it reproaches God. 
They are not only the blafphemers, who, in reproach- 
ful fpeeches belch out againft Heaven, and as the Pfalmift 
exprefles it, Plal, ixxiu io. " Set their mouth againft 
the heaven, and with their tongue walk through the 
earth," f paring neither God nor man ; but thefe alfo are 
blafphemers, who do in their acVions reproach God,. 
Numb. xv. 30, 31. « The foul that doth ought pre- 
fumptuoufly, the fame reproacheth the Lord ; and that 
foul fliall be cut off from among his people, beeaufe he 
hath defpifed the word of the Lord, and hath broken his 
commandment ; that foul fliall be utterly cut off: his ini. 
quit/ fliall be upon him." Is it a fmall thing to yon, C 
fin aers, chat you have broken the command of God ? 1 
may be light and eafy in your eyes, but fee to it whethe 
God's word or yours ihall ft and. You call it a ligi 
thing 1 but God looks upon himfelf as reproached by if 
and indeed he juftly looks upon it as a reproach ; for ev 
tf fin charges him, (1.) With folly. God, in giving la 
to men to walk by, defigned the manifeftation of his w 
dom, in making fuch laws as became the infinite wifd 
of the fupreme Governor of the world : but the finner 
ewer/ fm Uyt prafiicalJy > that God's Wn* *t*™&\.N 

E % 


his own will, which he follows in the commiflion of fin, he 
thinks better. (2.) It reproaches his goodnefs. The finner 
fays, by his practice, that neither God's laws nor himfelf 
are good, but that God has, either through ignorance^ or 
folly, or malice, retrenched him of what might have con- 
duced to his good ; that his laws are not calculated to the 
advantage and real good of his fubjefls. (3.) He hereby 
like wife reproaches the righteoufnefr and holinefs ofGod f in 
as far as thefe are damped upon the law, which he not on- 
ly rejefts, but tramples upon, as one that u believes not 
God, calls him a liar," 1 John v. 10. So he that obeys him 
not, accufes him either of unrig hteoufaefs or folly. Now, , 
this branch of the charge rifes higher than avowed athe- 
ifm ; for the atheift entirely difowns God, and fo enter- 
tains not fuch unfui table thoughts of him as he doth who 
owns him, and yet acctafes him, by his praaice, of igno- 
rance, folly, and impurity. But this is not all that id in 
the crime laid againft you : For, 

I. Every fin hath robbery in it. It is a rape committed, 
an endeavour to carry away fome one or other of the 
crown-jewels of heaven. God has faid, M He will not give 
his glory to another ;" and one darling part of this glory 
is that of his abfolute dominion* Now, every finner endea- 
vours to rob God of this, and that to clothe either Satan 
or fin with it. The commanding power it would have ta- 
ken from God, and given to itfelf, or fome other, than 
which there can be no greater robbery. Again, the glory 
ef God's fovereignty is due to him, in a punctual obedience 
to every one of his commands. He that obeys the com- * 
mand, gives God the glory of his authority, and owns him 
governor of the world ; and this is a part of God's pro- 
perty ; it is the revenue that he requires of the world ; 
and the finner, by every fin be commits, attempts to rob 
him of this glory, invades his property. We find God 
himfelf managing the charge of robbery againft a people 
called by his name, Mai. iii. 8. 9. " Will a man rob 
God ? yet ye have robbed me : but ye fay. Wherein have 
we robbed thee ? In tithes and offerings. Ye are curfed - 
with a curfe ; for ye have robbed me, even this whole na- 
tion." Sol fay to you, Yon have robbed God : but you 
will fay, Wherein have we robbed hi in? I anfwer, In 
that which is far more valuable thwa 4 * Ultes &nd offer- 


ngs ;" jhou have robbed him, and in every fin do rob him, 
>f that obedience which ta him ft is better than facriCce." 
* Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and 
facrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, 
to obey is better than facrifice, and to hearken than the fat 
of rams," 1 Sam. xv. 22. But this yet is not all ; we 
charge yon, 

5. With rebellion* Every (inner is a rebel again ft God ; 
he calls off the yoke of God, bur ft 3 the bonds of obedience, 
and cakes up rebellious arms againft God, the great fove- 
reign of the world. Rebellion is a thing fo odious, that the 
unjuft imputation of it has been made frequently, like the 
wild beafts fit ins with which fome primitive perfecutors 
clothed the faints of the Mofl High, that thereby they 
might fet upon them the dogs to tear them. Men have 
been termed rebels, and had this note of infamy put upon 
them, for difobeying the unlawful and impious commands 
of men ; while difobedience to the commands of God has 
got a more mild and favourable name ; while duty haM 
been called rebellion ; the higheftacls of rebellion againft 
the moft high God, pofleflbr of heaven and earth, fuch as 
drunkennefs, fwearing, perfecution, have been horribly 
rcifcalled by the appropriation of foft nsmes ; the drunk- 
ard has been cMc&z good-fellow, the /wearer a gentleman, 
and the perfe cut or a loyalift. But God will take care to 
have thefe abufea rectified, and to have things called by 
their right names, and then fin, and only fin, will be found 
to be rebellion ,- and this we charge upon you. And that 
we have ground to aflert every fin rebellion, you may foon 
fee, if you confider, that, 1 Sam. xii. 14, 15. " If ye 
Mr ill fear the Lord, and ferve him, and obey his voice, and 
not rebel againft the commandment of the Lord, then (ball 
both ye, and alfo the king that reigneth over you, con- 
tinue following the Lord your God. But if ye will not 
obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel againft the com- 
xpandment of the Lord, then fliall the hand of the Lord be 
againft you, as it was againft your fathers." Thus you 
fee, obeying and not rebelling, difobeying and rebelling, are 
plainly the fame thing in God's account : God ufes them 
fo ; if you obey and rebel not, if you difobey and rebel. 
This then is one branch of the charge we uow tftfcw*^t^- 
gab)Jt/ou. In God's name, we accule vow oi it>oOw\\wv> 


when we accufe you of fin ; for, as you have juft now 
heard, rebellion and fin is in fcriptu re-account, and 
therefore in God's account, one and the fame; and bow 
heinous this crime is, we find the Spirit of God telling us, 
in that i Sam. xv. 23. " Rebellion is as the (in of witch* 
craft." Once more, 

6. We charge murder upon you. An hard charge, will 
you fay, if it be well proven ; a charge which, if it be 
made good againfl us, we deferve by the law of God and 
man to die. Well, as difficult as you may think it, we (hall 
make it good againfl: every foul of you, and that after this 
manner. You have finned, and every (inner is a murderer, 
and that the word of murderers. Well might the wife 
man fay, EccL.ix. 18. u One finner deftroy eth much- 
good." For, (1.) He murders his own foul by it. What 
is faid of adultery is indeed applicable to every fin, Pror. 
xvi. 32. u He that doth it deflroyeth his own foul," and 
fo is guilty of that word of wickednefs, felf-murdcr. 
He (lays a foul, and not a body only, who commits fin- 
(2.) He is in difpofitiona murderer of God, who commits 
fin. This is plain, if you confider two fcriptnres: 1 John 
i'u. 5. it is aflerted, that hatred is murder, " Whofoevcr 
hateth his brother is a murderer ; and ye know that no 
murderer hath eternal life." And Rom« viii. 7. it is- 
faid, •* The carnal mind is enmity againfl God." So that 
the natural man, in the (late wherein he is born, is a ha* 
ter, an enemy of God, and therefore in God's account 
a murderer of God ; for indeed he that hates one, for* 
bears murdering only for want cither of opportunity, or 
power, or fecrecy, or fome fuch like advantage. Now t 
every fin is the product of that natural enmity, the fruit -of 
which grows on the carnal mind ; and therefore mud par- 
take of the nature of the root, mufl have enmity or hatred 
againfl God in it, and implies a judging him unworthy of 
a being. That principle of enmity which inclines and 
prompts man to (in, to tread upon God's law, would ex* 
cite him to deftroy God, were it poflible ; every fin aims 
at no lefs than the life of God. We fay not that every or 
any finner doth intend the definition of God, but that it 
ts the aim of every fin. A man, in every (in, aims at the 
advancement of his own will above that of God's : and 
could the /Inner attain his end > God would be deftroy ed* 


>r GoJ cannot furvive his will. He can as foon ont-live 
is being as his glory ; and he that aims at the one, aims 
t the other alfo : and this is the cafe of every finner. 
tfow, I have made it good, that every fin has murder in 
c ; and consequently that all who have finned, as ye all 
ave don^ have committed murder, and that of the word 
ort, felt-murder, foul-murder, nay, and God-murder : 
nd if the blood of the body of another fhall be required 
t the hand that fheds it, what do you think will be the 
afe of fuch as have filed the blood of a foul ? And if it 
tand hard with fuch, what will become of the^murderer of 
3od ? Sure, if fimple murder be avenged, then felf-mur-. 
!er, foul-murder, will be avenged feven times more ; and 
f foul-murder be fo evil, and bring complicated deftruc- 
ion upon the guilty, what, O finners I think ye will be 
he cafe of thefe who fhall be found confpirators againft 
he life of Godf 

Now, can ye think the crime alleged againft you fmal!, 
fter we have a little opened it to you } fure he who will, 
ioft be totally dtftitute of all fenfe of God, or of reli- 
;ion, nay, or reafon. What is previous and heavy, if the 
harge of atheifm, idolatry, blafphemy, robbery, rebellion^ 
nd murder, be not fo ? And we have made it appear, 
hat our plea, or rather God's plea againft you, amounts 
o do lef3. But this is far from being all that we have to 
ay in the juftitication of God, and for your condemna- 
ion. Thefe fins have, 

3<//y, Aggravations as dreadful and guilt-ennancing, as 
hey themfelves are great and monftrous. You have fin- 
led, and confequently are guilty of atheifm, idolatry, 
ilafphemy, robbery, rebellion, and murder ; but not fim- 
t\y 01 thefe abominations as in themfelves, but as they are 
ttended with a great many fearful and killing aggrava- 
ions, which add extremely to the fcore of the provocat- 
ions, being as it were fo many cyphers put behind the fi- 
bres, which, though in themfelves they be nothing, yet put 
•ehind, they fwell the number to a prodigious greatnefs. 

I. All thefe evils you have done, notwithftanding a 
;reat many notable helps you have received againft fin. Not 
o fpsak of what you had in Adam, perfect ftrenglh, perfect 
rill, and perfect happinefs, you ljave not only finned in 
im againft all thefe, but you who are \\ttt ^v&fefe\.V*?i* 


finned againft many notable means afforded yon of God for 
your prefervation from fin. (i.) You have finned in the 
face of the dreadful threatening* of Cod} } s vengeance againft 
it. You have finned under the very tbnnderings of mount 
Sinai : and when the flames of hell have, out of the threat- 
enings of God, bteu flaring you in the face, even then 
you have dared to provoke the Mo ft High, flighting all 
tbefe formidable evidences of his anger. (2.) You have 
finned againft dreadful examples or inflances of the judg- 
ments of God againft offenders. You have, as it were, feen 
your companions turned into hell, and yet you have per- 
fifted in the crimes for which they were ferved fo. Bay 
now, who of you, in fome one remarkable inftance or o- 
ther, has not feen the judgments of God againft fin and 
finners i Sure our land has of late afforded remarkable 
inftances not a few. Have you not feen fome, out of a fever 
of luft, fall into ficknefs, and out of this drop into the hot- 
tpmlefs abyfs of the (corching wrath of God ?and, notwith- 
ftanding all this, you have finned on, and have not guarded 
againft fin. (3.) You have finned contrary to great and pre- 
cious gofpel-promifes ; thefe great and precious promifet, 
that are breafts full of light, full of life, confolaiion, and 
ftrength, full of fpiritual lupplies for ftrengtbening poor 
men againft the a/la u Its of fin. (4.) You have finned «• 
gainft the glorious gof pel-ordinances, all of which are de- 
igned for the deftrudion and ruin of fin, and are the pipes 
through which the fupplies contained in the promifes are 
conveyed to the Lord's people. (5.) You have finned <z« 
gainft all theftrivings of the Spirit of God with you, in or* 
dinances and providences ; and confequently have refifted the 
Holy Ghoft in your fins. (6.) You have finned againft 
that fovereign ordinance of God, the antitype of the bra- 
zen fcrpent, Jefus Chrift, who is lifted up for that very 
end, that he may fave his people from their fins ; and 
bids all the ends of the earth look unto him for that 
end, Ifa. xlv. 22. " Look unto me, and be ye faved, all 
the ends of the earth. 9 ' The God who has been holding 
him forth to you, who has provided you in all thefe great 
and notable advantages, is the God you have finned 
againft, whom you have rebelled againft, and treated un- 
worthily in thefe horrid violations of his law, which 
we have enumerated to you above. But this is not the 


only aggravation of your ilni, thai you had helps a gain ft 
fin : But, 

a. You have finned again/} the God of your mercies, the 
God who has loaded you with his favours! O fad requit- 
al you have given to God for all the kindnefles he has 
done to yon, fince the morning of your day i May be not 
juftly, nay, may we not in his name, lay that to your 
charge, which we find him with wonderful folemnity charg- 
ing upon his people, Ifa. i. z. " Hear, O heavens, and 
give ear, O earth ; for the Lord hath fpoken, I have nour- 
ished and brought up children, and they have rebelled a- 
gainft me." Have not you been nourished and brought up 
under the care, and by the providence of God ? and has 
he not met with the fame entertainment at your hand > 
Now, this is a dreadful aggravation of your guilt. For, 
(<•) It is not one mercy, or two, but innumerable mer* 
ctejj innumerable kindnefles. Reckon, O tinners ! what 
the mercies of God are, if you can. Nay, if ye can -count 
the (tars in the heaven, or the fand of the fea-fliore, you 
may. David fays in that 71ft Pfalm, •* That he knows 
not the number of God's falvation ;" and who may not 
fay with him in this ? God every day preferves you from 
many thoufandt of inconveniences that would dtftroy you, 
and beftows upon you many thousands of mercies. He 
loads you with his benefits, and ye load your (el vet with 
your fins againft him. Ye turn the point of them all, as 
it were, againft God, and make thefe very mercies he gives 
you weapons of unrighteoufnefs to fight againft him. As 
his favours, fo your fins are more than the hairs of your 
head* Look round you, whatever you fee, whatever you 
enjoy, chothes, food, or whatever contributes to the 
comfort of life, that you have from him; and this is the 
God, O tinners! againft whom ye have finned, who treats 
you thus, u in whom ye live, move, and have your being," 
as the apoftle obferves, A&s xvii. 28. (2.) As the mer- 
cies are many againft which ye have finned, fo they zregreat. 
If any can be called fo, thefe which you have at the hand 
of God may. What is great, if all that is needful for life 
and godlinefs be not. And no lefs does the provifion that 
that God has made amount unto ; and no lefs has the Lord 
God given unto you ; Has not 4 ' his divine power given 
to you all xh'wgs that pertain to Y\fe *\\^ ^Xym&&>l* 


2 Pet. i, 3. Have not ye a gofpeUdefpenfation, food and 
raiment ? And what is more needful ? And yet a gain ft: thefe 
great mercies you have finned. When God has fed you 
to the full, Jefhnrun-like, you have waxed fat, and kick- 
ed againft the God that has fed you all your life long, 
Deut. xxxii. 15. (3.) Ye have finned notwithstanding- of 
a long trad of thefe many and great uudeferved kindnef- 
fes ; and this extremely enhances your guilt. What J 
would he not be looked on as a very monfter in nature, 
who would kill the man that was putting his meat in his 
mouth ? who would watch opportunities againft one who 
had done him wonderful kindnefles ? and this is exactly 
your cafe ; you have finned, and that againft the God of 
your mercies. And therefore, (4.) Your fins are all acts 
of monftrous ingratitude, than which nothing worfe cau 
be laid to the charge of any man. It is a fin that makes a 
roan worfe than the bead of the field : * ; The ox knoweth 
his owner, and the afs his matter's crib, ' lfa. i. 3. The 
dulleft of beads know who do them kindnefles, and fawn, 
as it were, upon thofe that feed them ordinarily ; but ye, 
O finners ! have kicked and lift up the heel againft the 
God that has fed you all your life long, and fo are guilty 
of the mod horrid ingratitude. And do you thus requite 
the Lord, O foolifli people and unwife ! But this is not 
all that may be faid for aggravating your wickednefs in 
finning againft God. For, 

3» You have done all this wickednefs without any pro- 
vocation. When fubjecte rebel againft their fovereign, 
they haveufualiy fome fhadow of excufe for the taking up 
arms againft him ; but ye have none. What have ye to 
allege in your own defence, O criminals ? What iniqui- 
ty, what fault have ye found in God, that ye have gone 
backward and forfaken his ways? u Produce your caufe, 
faith the Lord ; bring forth your ftrong reafons, faith the 
King of Jacob," lfa. xli. 21. What have you to offer in 
your juftifkation > Sure I am, the ordinary pretences 
which are upon fuch occafions made nfe of, to juftify a 
fubftradlion of obedience from the kings of the earth, will 
do you no fervicc. (1.) You cannot, you dare not quar- 
rel God's claim to the fovereign ty of the world. What 
will, what can make it his 'due, if creation, prefervation, 
hene&ts, and the fupereminent excellencies of his nature, 


^qaalifying bim as it were for f<* great a poft, do not give 
a juft claim ! And God has a right to the government of 
the world upon all thefe accounts. He made us, and not 
we ourfelves: he is the mighty Preferverof man; he loads 
us daily with his benefits ; and there is none like him to bt 
hia competitor. (2.) You cannot allege unjuft laws. 
You cannot fay that he has overstretched his prerogative 
and witfc-holden any part of that which was your uncjuef- 
tionable due. No : who dare implead the Moft High of injus- 
tice? " Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ?" Are 
not his- laws moft juft always? and his judgments moft 
righteous? Is he not a God of truth, and without iniqui- 
ty? Sure he is. We boldly bid you a defiance to difcov- 
■et any thing unjuft in that body of laws which God has 
•given to the fons of men. Nor, (3.) Can ye allege the 
rigour of his laws, that he is an aufttre one, and has gone 
to the utmoft he might with you, exacted all that he pof- 
fibly could. No; he has confulted your good in the frame 
of his laws, and has contrived them fo, that every one who 
underftands what he fays, muft own, that, had mankind 
been at the making them, they could not by all their joint 
wit, have gone near to make them fo exactly anfwer the 
defign of the high God— his glory in the good of the crea- 
ture, as he has done. 

4. Nay further, your fins have this aggravation, that 
they are committed without any profpeft of advantage, to 
countervail the damage you juft ain. Could ye pretend, that 
y« can by your difobedience gain Come great thing, if it did 
not excufe yon, it would make you to be pitied, as being 
overborne by a very great temptation. But this cannot^ 
dare not be alleged: no ; you u fpend your money for that 
which is not bread, and your labour for that which dotli 
not profit. " You can make no hand of it. You offend 
the God of your mercies without any provocation, and 
that for a very trifle. He has not flood with you upon 
the greateft, and ye fcruple the leaft points with him; 
yea, for a very fliadow of pleafure, ye ftand not to offend 
bim. Nay, 

5. You fin, notwithstanding the interpofiticn of the moft 
folemn vows to the contrary ; and therefore we might have 
made this one of the ingredients of fin, perjury. All of. 
yon, who are now before the Lord) (taivd tcAevtftV] «\*^p^£&. 

F \» 


to fear, and obey, and ferve the Lord, all the days of y< 
lives. When you were offered to God in baptifm, th 
you c^me under the vows of God ; and uhen you have g 
«n your prefence it) the public affemblies of God's peop 
fmceye came to age, ye have folemnly owned and ratif] 
thefe vows; and yet, notwithftanding all thefe, you ha 
finned againft God, even your covenanted God ; and the; 
fore there is perjury in all your fins. You have defpil 
the oath in breaking the covenant of your God. 

6. When you have finned, and continue to fin agaii 
God, yet ye continue to profe/i fealty and fubjeftion to hi 
and thereby add fearful hypocrify and mockery to yc 
witkednefs ; like that profane people with whom the pr 
phet Malachi had to do, who dealt traitoroufly with Gc 
wearied him wjth their wickednefs, robbed him of his di 
and yet averted iheir own innocency in all; and th 
throughout the whole of that book, is charged upon th< 
as an aggravation of their guilt. Their profeihon th 
ftill kept up, and challenged God to fliow wherein th 
had failed of their duty. Now, this is much your cafe ; yo 
very appearance here carries in it fuch a challenj 
Would ye come here without fcruple, and fo boldly ri 
into God's prefence, whom ye have offended, were ye b 
at this with it, that ye judge God either knows not, 
will not be offended with what ye have done. 

Now, you have heard your charge opened. It is nc 
as we have faid before, fome petty mifdemeanor that is 
belled againft you, but crimes as black as hell, atheijht 9 
dolatry, blafphemy^ robbery , rebellion , and murder ^ and tfc 
againft the God of yoqr mercies, over the belly of a gre 
many notable preventing means of grace, in fpite of l 
molt folemn vows to the contrary, without any fliad< 
<pf provocation, any profpeel of real advantage; and < 
this, notwithftanding a great many profeflions to the co 

Here is the fum and fubftance of your indictment, enou 
to make heaven and earth aftonifhed, that God does not 
fury fall upon us, and make an utter end of us. If eve 
one faw his own concernment in this matter, how won 
we be effected? it would make a.ftrange work in this hou 

This, O finners 1 is your charge : what have ye* o a 
fiver to it ? Plead ye guilty or not ? Sure I am, tve 


foul in this houfe may fay with Job, in that 9th chapter 
of his book, and 2.0th verte, " If I juilify myfelf, mine 
own mouth (hall condemn mc ; if I fay 1 am perfect, it 
fhail alfo prove me perverfe." If ycu plead guilty, and 
take with the charger, what means this fecurity we fee a- 
mong you ? " Is it not a dreadful thing to fall into the 
hands of the living God ?" Is it an eafy thing to fufFtr 
the punifliaient due to fuch crimes ? Sure none can fay 
it is. 

Bat it may be, fomeofyou may be ready to fay, Indeed 
we cannot deny ourfelves to be tinners. God help us, for 
we have all finned ; but indeed we never thought, nor 
can we yet think, that every fin hath in it all tl.efe mon- 
ftrous evils yoa have mentioned. God forbid we were all 
of us atheilts, idolators, blafphemers, robbers, murder- 
ers, and perjured rebels, aa you have made us. No: \va 
have indeed finned, but our confeiences did never accufe 
us of any fuch monftrous impieties as thefe are. To thofc 
who (hall dare to fay, or think fo, we anfwer, (1.) We 
do indeed believe, that many of your confeiences did nev- 
er accufe you of any fuch crimes. Many of you keep the 
eyes of confeience faft fliut in ignorance. You fear to 
bring your deeds to the light of a well-informed con- 
feience, led they (hould be reproved. Others of you have 
finned your confeiences afleep, or rather you have abufed 
them, fo that they are either faint, that they cannot fpeak 
loud, or flu pi tied, that they cannot fpeak at all. Rut all 
this will not prove your innocence as to the crimes alleged. 
Wherefore, (2.) Who has the jufter eftimate of fin, God 
or you ? Who knows bed what malignity, what evil 
there is in its nature? Surely God knows bed what this 
honour of his own laws and authority is, and how far it is 
trampled npoa by every tin. We are but of yeflerday, 
and know nothing. (3.) Whofe word, think ye, will 
(land, God's or your's ? God has by his Word reprefented 
no lefs to be in it than we have faid to be in it, and there- 
fore there is no lefs in it. God will reckon fo, and deal 
with you not according to the judgment ye make of fin, but 
that which he makes. We hav£ made it appear, from the 
word -of God, that fin is fuch as we have reprefented it ; 
and if ye think more mildly of it, be doing, and behold U\e. 


Having thus opened to you your indictment, I fhall 
now proceed, 

Secondly, To lead witnefies againft you to prove the 
charge, according to the method we laid down for the 
management of this bufinefs, in our entry upon the im- 

But before we begin this work, we (hall briefly obviate 
a difficulty that may be ftarted againft the whole of what 
we are to fay under this head. To what purpofe is it, may 
lbme fay, to lead witnejfes to prove a charge which is con- 
tended ? Who denies this, that they are tinners ? every "one 
will readily own fo much; and therefore any thing that 
is faid to prove fuch a thing feems perfectly loft. To this 
fhortly we fay, (i.) Though every body acknowledges that 
they are guilty ; yet few, very few, believe lo be true 
what they themfelves are ready to lay in this matter. We 
all own ourfelve3.£tti//y of fin ; but were it believed, would 
not every eye be full of tears ? every heart full of fc2rs ^ 
Would not our knees, Belfhazzer-like,, beat one againft: ano- 
ther, every face gather palenefs, and every mouth be full of 
that enquiry, u Men and brethren, what lhall we do to 
be faved ?" Sure they would; and that it is not fo, is a 
clear and unqueftionable proof that we do not really be- 
lieve what we fay. (2.) Were our only defign to juftify 
God in any meafuret* he has taken, or may take, to punifli 
us, then indeed fuch an acknowledgment were fufEcient to 
found a fentence of condemnation on, and to free God 
from any imputation of injuftice in punifiiing them whoac- 
knowledge the crime : but our defign is of another fort; 
we are to ftudy to bring you to fuch a fenfe of your fin, as 
may put you to enquire for a relief. And therefore, (3.) 
We are to ufe all methods which may in any meafure con* 
tribute to the furtherance of this defign; we are to efiay 
all ways to awaken you out of that fecwrity wherein you 
are like to Jleep on, till you be entirely ruined, and there 
be no remedy or relief for yon. 

This prejudice being taken out of the way, we (hall now 
proceed {to lead the witnejfes againft you. We have laid 
the blacked of crimes to your charge, and we have the 
ftrongeft evidence that you are guilty : for we can prove 
guilt upon you by witnefies, which may be compared with 
anjr, either as to capacity or integrity t witnefies who 


are faithful in this matter, and will not lie, according to 
the character given by the wife man, Prov. xiv. J. u A 
faithful witcefs will not lie." Witnefles they are who 
cannot be fufpecled of partial counfcl, who never would 
have advifed you to fin, and who take no pleafure in ac- 
cusing you ; and therefore cannot be fufpecled of malice> 
or of any ill or invidious defign againft you, as were eafy 
to make appear of every one of thera whom we (hall name. 

Take heed* therefore, we befeech you, to their teft le- 
mony. The gravity and confequence of the matter, the 
quality of the witnefles, being the greateft in heaven cr 
earth r and your own concernment in the whole, do join 
in pleading *for your attention*. O criminals! as your 
crimes are great, fo is. the evidence we bring againft ycu 
great. For, 

1/?, The Lord ii wit ne fs agairfi you. As he faid of ohl 
to his people, in Jer* xxix. 23. fo he fays to you, Young, 
and old of you, who are here prefent, you have finned : 
44 Even I know and am a witnefs, faith the Lord." God^ 
who cannot lie, accufes yoti as guilty of fin : And if we 
fay that we have not finned,, we make him a liar, and his 
word is not in us," 1 John L 10. Here is a witneis- againft 
you, O Tinners 1 to whofe charge, I am fure, you have no- 
thing to lay* Malice he pufgcs himfelf of, Ezek. xxxiii* 
11. fct As I live, faith the Lord, I have no pleafure in the 
death of the wicked* but that the wicked turn from his 
way and live." Could it beany pleafure to rui« the worlc 
of his own hands } No fore* 

idly, Jefus Chrift the eternal Sen of God, the Amen and. 
Faithful Witnefs, gives in evidence againft you. — He came 
to bear witnefs to the truth; and this was one ef thegrtat 
truths to which he bare witnefs,. That all have finned, and 
therefore are under a fentence of condemnation y which can 
no otherwife be repealed r but by believing on the name 
of the only begotten Son of God-, John Hi.' 18. u He that 
believeth on him, is not condemned 1 but he that believeth 
not, is condemned already* becaufe he hath not believed 
in the name of the only begotten Son. of God." Chrift V 
very name bears, witnefs to this truth.. He is called u Je- 
61s, becaufe he fhaU fave his people from their fins,"' 
Matth. i. 21. — And how could he fevt \\vtm k<yrci A^tS: 
tnsy, had they had none ? 


go, we (hall in the ifTue give a teftimony to this truth f 
if we obtain a favourable anfwer, then we mufl bear ttfti- 
mony, that you did receive Chrift our Lord upon his own 
terms, and therefore were finners ; if you reject tha coun- 
fel of God againft yourftflves, then we muft bear wit nefs 
that your are guilty of the greateit fin which any of the 
fons of A Jam can be guilty of, unbelief; which makes God 
a liar, as the apoftle John has it* l John v. 10. u He 
that btlieveili not God hath made him a liar, becaufe he 
bclieveth not the record that God gave of his Son ; and 
this is th-2 record, that God hath given to us eternal life, 
and this life is in his Son." Moreover, 

Jthly, The whole, creation afTerts this trutfi, that all 
hive linned and come fhort of the glory of God ; and con- 
fequeutly that part of it which ye life, aflert3 no lefs of 
you in particular. ■ The apoille, Rom. viii. 22. tells us, 
that u the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pan* 
together until now." Thefe creatures you daily ufe, they 
groan. If your ears were not deafened by Cw f you might 
hear the very groans of the ground yon tread upon, of the 
food ye eat, and of the raiment ye put on. Well, what is 
the matter ? what occafions thefe groans? The apoitle tells 
us in the 20th and 21ft verfes of th3t chapter, it is made 
fttbjeft to vanity, -and to the bondage of corruption ; u for 
the creature was made fubject to vanity,, not willingly, but 
by reafon of him who hnth fubjefied the fame in hope; be- 
caufe the creature itfelf fhallalfo be delivered from the bon- 
dage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the chil- 
dren of God." Here the apoftle afTerts, (*.') That " the 
creature is made fubjeel to vanity;." that is, is liable to be 
abufed by men, to other ends than it was at firft defigned 
for: it is fabject to this vanity, of falling ihort cf the de.. 
fin of its creation, which was the glory of God, and oT be. 
Ing abufed to his difhonour through the corruption of man*. 
(2.) He aflerts, that it was not willingly made fubjeft to it. 
O ihame ! the brute creatures condemn man. Man was 
willingly fubjeel to vanity, did willingly defift from the 
profecution of that which was the defign of his creation. 
The red of the creatures are paflive in it; it is a fort of 
force put upon them. It is a violence done to the crea- 
ture3 9 when they are fo abufed to the fervice of (in : it is. 
contrary to theic very natures; (o&ttay &\\\t.QTi%.YCtt\eac« 


cording to the laws which God fet them itr the' beginning. 
(3,) The only thing that makes them continue in being, 
when they are (o abufed by man, is the appointment of God. 
He continues them in being* not for this end, to be abufed 
to a fubferviency to the lufts of men, though they make 
this ufe of the goodnefs of God ; bur tint, by the contin- 
ued effecls of it, and proofs of undeferved kindnefs, he may 
lead them to repentance. (4.) Tha apoftle after ts, that the 
creation ill all be a (barer with the fons of God, in their 
glorious delivery from the bondage of corruption, that is, 
when the children of God, thefe who have received Chrift, 
and by him power to become the fons cf God, thall be fully 
freed from the remainders of the guilt, power, and pollu- 
tion of fin, then the creature (hall no more be ufed contra- 
ry to God's defign in its creation, but /hall, in the hand of 
the rational creature, again become an inftrument for (hew- 
ing forth the glory of God, as it was at firft defigned to be.. 
And to (hew that the condition of the creature requires 
this, (5.) He in the 22d verfe after ts, that the whole crea- 
tion groaqeth, that is, complains of its hard ufagc, of its be- 
ing abufed by men's fin; and he extends this to the whole 
creation, that there may be no accefs for any who ufe the 
creatures to free thc;i)fcl ves of that which the complaint runs 
againft, to wit, fin. How can any free himfelf of fin, while 
all his enjoyments witnefs againlt him, that he has finned. 
O finners 1 the fun that fhines upon you groans, that it 
raufr. give light to a finner, one who ufes the light for an 
encouragement to fin againft God. The ground ye tread 
upon groaus with the weight of finners. The food that 
feeds you complains, that it mud be fo horribly perverted as 
to ferve the lufts of a finner, as to furnifhone with /trength 
to fin againft God. See Hab. ii. 11. James v. 3. 

St hly, The judgments of God bear witnefs againft you. As 
many rods as have ever been upon you, as many witneftes 
are there of this fad truth. The rod of God fpeaks ; for 
we are commanded to hear the rod, Micah vi. 9. " The 
Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wifdom 
(hall fee thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath ap- 
pointed it." Every ftroke that the hand of God lays up- 
on us fpeaks; and th? firft thing it fays, is, Ye have finned, 
and come Jhort of the glory of God. For af&l&taft dovVv ^^V 
fpring out of the ground, nor doth trouble, at\fe ovsx^^H 


duft. And here we may boldly, with Eliphaz, Job. iv.7. chal- 
lenge you to give one inftance of any innocent who ever fuf- 
fered the leaft wrong or trouble. u Remember, I pray 
thee," lays he to Job, u who ever perifhed, being innocent ? 
or where were the righteous cut off?" as if he had faid, 
Search the records of ancient times; rub up the memory, 
and give me but one inflance of any perfon who fuffered, 
and was not a (inner. 1 defy thee to give one inflance* 
' Indeed he was out in the application of that unqutftionable 
truth : for he did thence endeavour to infer, that Job was 
a hypocrite. Ai to the application, we are not concerned 
in it ; but for the truth itielf, that we own, and challenge 
you to inftance any. Our blefled Lord indeed was free of 
perfonal failings, but not fo of imputed ones ; for the Lord 
44 laid upon him the iniquities of us all, and he was wound* 
ded for our tranfgreflions." And therefore his fufferings 
are nowife inconfiftent with this truth, that none fufTer 
but finners; and therefore your fufferings are a proof, and 
do teftify, that ye have finned; " for God dofh not afflict 
willingly, nor grieve the children of men," Lam. iii. 33." 
He takes not pleafure in afflicting his own creatures * but 
when he does it, it is for their fins. What God in his fo- 
vereignty may do, as to the punifhing or rather afflicting 
of an innocent creature, we (ball not determine. Learned 
men have learnedly, I may fay, played the fool, or trifled 
in debating this point, the determination whereof makes 
nothing to edification, were it pofiibleto determine it fat- 
isfa&orily. If any fhould afk me, Can God punifh or afflict 
an innocent creature? I fhould anfwer, (1.) That quef* 
tions about what God can do are dangerous, and ought for 
Hioft part be forborne. (2.) Punifh an innocent creature 
he cannot, for that prefuppofeth a fault. (3.) God, in the 
frrfl formation of his creatures, did fet them fuch a law for 
their rule, as did lead them directly to the higheft perfec- 
tion their natures were capable of ; and they walking ac 
cording to that rule, /. e. being innocent, it is hard to 
conceive how they could fall fhort, or in any meafure 
fwerve from the end. If it be ftill inquired, Whether God 
may not, in his abfoiutefovereignty, pafs over this, which 
feems to be the fixed and fettled order of his conduf* towards 
the creatures, and afflict them, or fufTer them to meet with 
Inconveniences, while thev bold cAofe to the rule that 


God has fct them ? If I fay, any ftates the qijieftion thu 
Then, (4.) I (hall only propofc another queftjon to the 
inquirer, Can there poflibly fall within the compafs of 
God'* IcDowledge a defign which will make it worthy of 
his infinite wifdom and goodnefs to do ftvto break this 
law of nature, which is every way fuited to his wifdom and 
goodnefs ? If he fay, there may, then he is obliged to pro- 
duce it, which he will find hard enough to do: if he fay 
not, then he determines the queftion in the negative, but 
dangeroufly enough ; for who knows the infinitely wife 
defigns which may fall within the compafs of the thoughts 
of the omnifcient God, whofe ways and thoughts are 
as far above the thoughts of man, as the heaveus are a- 
bove the earth ? But whatever be in this nice debate, 
wherein we (hall not entangle ourfelves, the truth we 
have advanced is certain, that no iiiftance can be given 
wherein God has afflicted thofe who have been abfolutely 
free from fin, inherent or imputed: and therefore the rods 
of God are witnefles againft you, that ye have finned. 
Speak, O finners ! did you never meet with an afHi&ion in 
body or mind, in your pcrfons or families, in yourfeives 
or in your relations, young or old? Who, or where is 
the man or woman that never had a crofs ? I believe that 
perfon is fcarce to be found in the world who has no com- 
plaints,- that is, who have no crofles. Well then, as many 
croftes as ye have had, as many witnefles are there in giv. 
ing in tcftimony againft you, that you have finned. For 
no finning, no fuffering. 

ythly, lu fine, to name no more witnefles, Death the 
king of terrors, is a witnefs againft you, and gives ttftimo- 
ny againft all, that they have finned \ for u the wages of 
fin is death," Rom. vi. 23. It is only fin that gives death 
a power over you. If any v of you can plead exemption 
from death* then'you may with fome reafon plead free- 
dom from the charge we have laid againft you ; but if not, 
then in vain will all pretences, fhifts, and evafions be. It 
may be, that we (hall not, no not by the teftimony of all 
the famous witneflfes we have led againft you, bring you 
to conviction of fin : but when Death, the king of terrors, 
begins his evidence, he will convince you, ere he has 
done with you ; for he will fend you where ye (hall be cotw, 
vinced not much to your comfort* Dtfrth \% * fcf^vaxdj 


the great King ; and when he takes you, arrefts yoo, cites 
you anon to appear before the bar that is in the higher 
boufe, how will your hearts fail you then? O tinners I 
the fight of the grim mefleqger Death, of the executioner 
Satan, of the place of torment hell, and the awful folem- 
nity of the Judge of the quick and the dead, will fuper- 
cede any further proof, and will awaken the moft fleepy 
confcience, which will then be, not only witnefs, but judge, 
and even executioner, to thofe who fliall not be able to 
plead an iatereft in Chrift Jefus, who have never been 
convinced foundly of fin at the bar of the word. 

Thus we have made good our charge again ft all and e- 
very one of you, by the ttftimony of a great many witnefles 
of unqucfttonable credit. It is therefore high time, O Tin- 
ners ! for you to bethink yourfelves what ye fliall anfwer 
when ye are reproved. 

Hitherto we have held in the general: we have charged 
fin upon you all, without fixing any particular fin upon 
any particular fort of perfons'. New we come to that which, 
in the next place, we propofed in management of this charge 
againft you ; and that is, 

Thirdly, To make good the charge, by dealing par- 
ticularly with the confeiences of feveral forts of perfons a- 
mong you, to bring you, if poflible, to a fenfe of your fin. 

All who are in this houfe may be ranked, according to 
the apoftle John's divifion, into children, young men, and 
fathers ; or into children, thofe of a middle age, and old 
per/ons. Under young men and women are comprehended 
all thofe, whether they have families or not, who are not 
come to declining years, who are yet in the flower of their 
ftrength and vigour. To each of them I would apply my- 
felf in away of conviction, and endeavour to bring them 
to a fenfe of fin, and that even of particular fins. 

But that I may proceed in this with the more clear nefs, 
I fliall premife a few things, which may clear the way to 
what we defign upon this head. And, 

i/?, There are two great defigns which every man (hould 
continually aim at, ufefulnefs here, and happinefs hereaf- 
ter. We come not into the world, as fome fooliflily 
apprehend, to fpend or pafs our time, and no more of ij. 
No ; God has cut us out our work. We are all, in fome 
Dation or other, to lay out ourfelves for the advancement 


of the glory of God in this world. Every one is furnish- 
ed with endowments more or lefs. To fomc God has giv- 
en an ample {lock, many talents ; to fome fewer ; and to 
fame but one. All have received ; and if all do not em- 
ploy their endowments, fuppofing they appear very incon- 
siderable, they will find it hard to anfwer for the mifim- 
provement. He who had but one talent, for his neglect 
of it had a dreadful doom pronounced a gain ft him, Matth. 
xxv. 30. u Cad ye the unprofitable Servant into utter 
darknefs ; there Shall be weeping and gnafliing of teeth. 
We are not born to ourfelves only, but to the world, and 
therefore we Should defign ufefulnefs in it, and witfial 
Should take a due care' of our own principal concern, the 
Salvation of our fouls. If he who provides not for his 
own family, has denied the faith, and is worfe than an 
infidel, 1 Tim. v. 8. what muft he be that provides not 
for his own foul ? 

Zdly y Whatever thoughts, words or a&ions, have no 
ufefulnefs or fubferviency to one or other of thefe ends, 
are Sinful: by the law of God and nature this holds true. 
If we do, fpeak, or think, any thing that has no tenden- 
cy, to promote either our temporal or eternal happinefs, 
then in fo doing we fin again ft God ; we throw away thefe 
powers of fpeaking, thinking, and acting, upon that which 
God never defigned them for ; and this is a manifeSl abufe 
of a talent beftowed by God. The Lord complains of Je- 
rusalem's indulging vain thoughts, Jer. iv. 14. " O J"e» 
rnfalem, waSh thine heart from wicked nefs, that thou 
may eft be faved : how long Shall thy vain thoughts lodge 
within thee ?" * 

3<fly, Much of our fitnefs or unfitnefs for profecuting 
thefe ends, depends upon the right or wrong management 
of our youth. Idlenefs, vicioufnefs, and folly, in our 
childhood, has a tendency to incapacitate us in our riper 
years for profecuting the defigns of our being. Childhood 
and youth are, as it were, a mould wherein men are caSt, 
and fuch ufually do they continue to be, as they then have 
been formed ; which lets us fee how much depends- upon 
the right management of children, of which the wife man 
was well aware ; as we fee, Prov. xxii. 6* u Train up a 
child," fays he by the Spirit of God^ " Vet \Ya ^vj >» 
ihou)d go f and -when he is old he vritt not ta?«c\, *TO\aNS 
G * 


4////y, Thcfe actions in children, wbich people overlook' 
generally* and judge fcarce culpable, yet are, upon a dou- 
ble account, evil ; fuft, in that they flow from a bitter 
root, that cauuot bring forth good fruit ; I mean that 
ctirfcd bias and depravity of nature, which prompts to 
evil, to that only, and that continually ; and next, becaufe 
they have a tendency to incapacitate for the future. An 
ill habit, contracted when young, cannot foon be worn ofF f 
nay, unlefs grace do interpofe, and that with more than 
ordinary influences, fbme vicious habits con traded in 
youth can by no pains or endeavours be laid afide. Had 
mans nature remained incorrupt, as it was in Adam, then 
certainly thefe follies and extravagancies, into which chil- 
hood and youth are precipitated, had not been known ; there 
ihould not any of ihsfe vicious inclinatrojis have been found 
which are now the bane of youth and of childhood. 

$thl/ 9 We premife this, that the law of God is ex- 
ceeding broad and extenfive, Pfal. cxix. 96. *' I have 
feeti an end of all perfection, but thy commandment is ex- 
ceeding broad." Some people do flrangely, in their de- 
luded apprehenfions, narrow the law of God. There is a 
general miftake here ; few, very few, do believe how ex- 
tenfive it is ; and therefore inoft part are clean and pure in 
their own eyes, though they be not waflied from their ini- 
quities. But David, a man according to God's own heart, 
a man in it rutted of God in the fpiritual meaning of God's 
law, entertained other thoughts and apprehenfions of the 
matter : he found it exceeding broad andextenfive. For, 
(1.) It extends to word* arid thoughts, as well as to afiions. 
Many of you do, it may be, dream that if you do no abo- 
minably wicked action, though you live in a courfe of 
vain and idle thoughts and words, it is 110 matter: but 
deceive not yourfelves in this reflect; for God judge* 
other wife. Indeed his word has told us, that he will 
bring every work into judgment, Eccl. xii. 14. u For 
God dial I bring every work into judgment, with every 
fecret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." 
But he has no where told us, that words and thoughts 
lliall go free. Nay, upon the contrary, he has exprefs- 
ly told us, that we in lift give an account of idle 
words; Matlh. xii. 36, 37. ** But I fay unto you," faith 
he Amen and faithful Witnefs, " that t\tty \dle *ord 


that men (hall f peak, they fhall give an a_c count thereof in 
the day of judgment ; for by thy words thou (halt be juf- 
tified, and by thy words thou malt be condemned." And 
in that foreched Jer. iv. 14* the removal of vain thoughts 
is indifpenfibly required, in order to the falvation of Je- 
rufalem ; which lays plainly, that an indulged courfe of 
them would inevitably ruin it: for, as the Spirit of God 
tells us, Prov. xxiv. 9. u The thoughts of foolifhnefs is 
fuu" And indeed it is no wonder that they be reputed fj 
by God, ths fearcher of the hearts, who knows tli* 
thoughts afar off; and be condemned by that word that 
13 a difcerner of the thoughts of the heart, fince all evil 
flows from the thoughts, words and anions bting but indi, 
cations of the thoughts of the heart. And therefore, 
when Simon Magus is reproved by the apoftle Peter, in 
that 8th of the Acts, for his wicked defire to boy the Holy 
Ghoft, or rather the power of conferring the gift oi the 
Holy Ghoft by the impofitiou of hands, he is not rebuked 
for his words, though he fpoke it, but for his thought*, 
becaufe it was there fin began. Acls viii. *o. kfc ft ml 
Peter faid to him, Thy money pcrilh with thee, becaui'd 
thou haft thought that the gift of God may be purchaied 
with money. Thou haft neither part nor lot in this mat- 
ter, for thy heart is not right in the fight of God. lie- 
pent therefore of this thy wickcdnefs ; and pray God, if 
perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." 
(2.) The law of God is broad, in that it extends to all 
forts of actions ; not only to thole which immediately re* 
fpect God, and thefe which refpect our neighbour or 
ourfelves ; but even to our natural actions, eating and 
drinking, and to our plowing or fowing, or the like, 
which cannot fo eafily be reduced to any of thefe o- 
ther claflfes : for we are told by the Spirit of God, 
that u the plowing of the wicked is fin," Prov. xxi. 
4. (3.) The broad nefs of God's law is confpicuons, in 
its reaching all forts of perfons, young and old, rich 
and poor, high and low. All fort3 of perfons are bound 
t<* their duty by the law of God, children as well as o- 
thers ; and a deviation from it is taken notice of, even 
with refpect to children. We are are told of their coming 
into the world in fin, of their being (ha^tu \w fcu^ <&\>w*vc 
being cltranged from the womb, and &Q\n& «ft.T*l **to^ 


as born, and of their dying for their fin. 4 * Behold, I was 
/ha pen in iniquity, and in fin did my mother conceive me,'*, 
fays the man who made God his truft from his youth up, 
Pfal. li. 5. and in that 58th Pfalm we are told, that the 
wicked po aftray in infancy: u The wicked are aftranged 
from the very womb 5 they go aftray a6 foen as they be 
born." And the apoftle, in that 5th of the Romans, from 
the 12th verfe, proves even infants to be tinners, by their 
Glaring in thefe calamities which are the conferences of 
£j) : but this could not be, unlefs the law of God did ex* 
tend unto and even bind children as well as others. A 
fenfe of this extent of the law of God, even to children, 
wade ble/Ted Auguftine, . in that iirft book of his Confef- 
fions, cap. 7- bitterly lament and bewail the fins of his 
childhood, even thofe which are laughed at by rnofr, fuch 
as untowardnefs, and unwillingnefs to receive what was 
good for him ; tut even in that age, meaning his infancy * 
does he fay, u Was it not ill and fin to feek with tears 
what would have proven hurtful t© me if it had been given* 
to be angry with thofe who were nowife obliged te beun- 
d:r my command, becaufe they would not obey me ? nay T 
that even my parents would not obey me* Was it not ill," 
that 1 endeavoured to ftrike even thofe who were every 
way my fuperiors, becaufe they would not obey roe in 
thofe things wherein they could not have given obedience, 
without hurt either to me or fome other. ? M Thus we fee* 
this holy man looked upon thefe things as fins, which are 
commonly laughed at by others as innocent $ and if God 
would give us fuch a difcovery of the wickednefs of our 
natures, and of the extent of the law, as was given to him, 
then we would think fo too. But the truth of this might 
be proven at great length, were it requisite to fay any 

jrjore than what has already been alleged. 

6M/y, In fpeaking to every one of thefe three forts of 
perfons, we may have occafion to name many fins; and 
therefore wt (hall here at once prove all the particulars 
we ill all name tinder any of thefe heads to be fin ; becaufe 
it would divert and detain us too long, to infill under ev^> 
ry head, in adducing arguments to prove every one of 
the particulars we are about to mention to be finful. 
Now, that they are ail fuch, we will not queftion, if ye 

csrry along, with what has been already (a\d^ \.We, ttvt*e 



unquestionable fcripture-t ruths : (1.) That whatever is 
done, thought, or faid, by one whofe heart is not renew* 
id by grace, is (in. This is the plain meaning of that af- 
Tertion of our Lord's, Matth. vii. 18. " A good tree 
cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree 
bring forth good fruit." Hence it is, that not only the 
thoughts of the wicked, but bis plowing, and his very fa- 
crtfice is fin, Prov. xxi. 7. (a.) Whatever refpects not 
the glory of God as its end, is fin, 1 Cor. x. 31. u Whe- 
ther therefore ye eat or drink, or wbatfoeyer ye do, do' 
all to the glory of God." (3.) Whatever has bo refpeel: 
to Jefus Chrift, as the only one in whom our perfons or 
performances can be accepted, is fin, Col. iii. 17. 4t What- 
ever ye do,, in word or in deed, da-all in the name of the 
Lord Jefus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." 
All the particulars we (hall name, will be found crofs to 
one or all of thefe three, and therefore finful ; though we 
{hall not always particularly infift in proving the finful nefs 
of every one. of them, or in naming the particular com- 
mands of the decalogue of which they are a breach. 

In the yth and laft place,, we premife, That thofe of a 
middle age, and of old age, are equally- concerned in thefe 
fins which we are to lay to the charge of children, with the 
children themfeives, becauie they were once fuch. Young, 
men and old men were once children, and therefore guilty 
of the fins of childhood. Old men were once youths, and 
therefore guilty of the fins of youth-hood ; and therefore 
ye are all, the oldeft of you, obliged to take heed what we 
fay to one or another ; becaufe thofe who are old have been 
young, and thofe who are young may be old. 

The way. being thus cleared,. I (hall now proceed to 
/peak particularly to, and endeavour the conviction of the 
children of the congregation which are now preterit. 

Children, and youug* ones,, who are this day hearing 
me, take heed : I have a meflage from God to you. That 
God who made the heavens aud the earth, who made you,. 
and who feeds you daily, has fent me this day to you, to 
every one of you, as particularly as if I did name you, 
name and firname, .to tell you fad and doleful news. 
The youngefl of you all has finned and come Jhort of the 
igory of God; that is, ye have done that for which 
God. will certainly call you, foul aftdbbdy}V&lota\Y»fce.t* 
G 5U - s& 


if ye get not your peace, made with God, through Jefu* 
Chrift. You have done that for which God is fo angry at 
you, that h'13 heart will not pity you r his eye will not fpare 
you, unlefs ye get Chrifl: ; but as foon as ever your breath 
goes out, and none of you can tell how 1 foon that may be,. 
he will without mercy, turn you into bell, there to be tor- 
mented for ever and ever. If ye were not foolifli, ye would: 
never play any more,, nor be merry, till yau got your peace- 
made with God. Now, to let you fee that it is true that I tell 
you, I (hill fhew you what fins ye are guilty of before God. 

1. Ye were born tinners, PfaU li. 5. Your parents- 
were all tinners ; .and as your fathers were, fo are ye fin- 
ners; for " who cah bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? 
not one,'*' fays^ God by the mouth of Job,, chap- xiv. 4. 
When ye came into the world, God might have fent every 
one of yon to hell,, becaufe ye were then all tinners; and 
though God did not then fend you into hell, yet he may do it,, 
and ye cannot tell bow foon.. If ye take heed, ye may every 
day hear of fome one or other dying,, that was, not long 
before, as likely to live as you are, as young, as healthy as 
you are ; and if God fliall come, and call you away by death,, 
what think you will become of you that are not yet recon- 
ciled to God? Ye will all be fent to hell.. But, 

2. Tell me* I fay,, did you ever refuse to do what yotfr 
parents,, your fathers, or your mothers, have commanded 
you to do ? Dx> you never remember, that either your fa* 
thers, or your mothers,, or your matters, or, it may be, the 
minifter from- the pulpit, has told you, that you mould do 
fome things, ready pray, be good fcholars, do what your fa- 
ther and mother enjoined you ? Well,, and have not ye for 
all that refufed to do it ? This is a fin againft God ; and be- 
lieve it, dear children,, there are fome, juft fueh as your- 
felyes, burning in hell for difobeying their parents ;and theyt 
weep and cvy t yet God will never let them out thence. 

3. Did never any body reprov^you for any thing that ye 
have done? Did never your father or mother tell you, that 
fomething, it may be, fwearing, or lying, or forgetting 
your prayers, was a fin, and would bring you to hell, if ye 
did not amend?- Well, if they did r wasnot you angry with 
them? would you not have been glad to 'get away from 
them that told you fuc'h things ? And did not your heart 

life a&dinfc them I Well, this alfo ia. a great iin y and if this 


he not pardoned, God will be fure to tarn you into hell for 
it, Prov. xv» 10. " Correction is grievous to him that 
forfaketh the way; and he that hateth reproof fhall die." 

4. Tell me, were you ever defirous to be avenged, or, in 
your own language, to have amends of fome th:it you 
thought had done you ill ? Were not you vexed, thinking 
how to get even with them ? and would not ye have found 
in your hearts to have killed them, or to have done them 
fbme mifchief ? Well, this i3 a griveous fin'? for God ha9 for- 
bid us to avenge ourfclves, Kotn. xii. 19. 

5. Tell me, did ye never give any body ill languge ? Did 
ye never mifca 11 your comrades? when you were angry 
^withyour neighbour or companion, did ye not ufe oppro- 
brious or reproaching names? I fear mofb of you cannot 
deny it. Well, this again is another fin. Our Lord has 
£aid, that whofoever fliall cill his brother a u fool, fhall be 
in danger of hell-tire, " Matth. v. 22. 

60 Where you never glad when you could get our, un- 
der your father, or mother, or mailer's eyes, that ye might 
take your will, and do thefe things that ye durft not do 
before them ? Now, tins is downright atheifin : You did 
not believe that God is every where, otherwife you wouhl 
not have prefumed to do that before him which ye darft 
not do before your parents. See Pfal. xiv. 1. compared 
With Rom. iii. 10. & 23. 

7. Have not you been glad when the Lord's day was d- 
ver, or at Iraft when the preaching was done, that ye might 
get your liberty ? Has it not been a burden to you, to fit 
fb long in the church? Well, this is a great fin, which was 
ene, of the grounds of God's controverfy with his own peo- 
ple, Mah i. 13. Ifa* xliii. 22. Amos viii, 5. It is to be 
weary of well-doing, againft: the exprefs command of God, 
Gal. vi. 9; 

8. Tell me, have you not been thinking of other thing?, 
when ye have been in church hearing fermon ? have you 
not been thinking of your fport and paflime? or, it may be, 
fpeaking to one another in the time worfhip ? This is a- 
nother fin whereof you have been guilty? and God counts 
them mockers of him* who draw near with their lips, when 
their hearts are faraway from him, Ifa. xxix. 13. 

9. Do you pray to God morning and evening ? I fear 
tfcefe Hull jBanjj be fonnd who aefcUfc. \YC\*\ *xA\£\ twc. 


dear children, what do you think will become of thofe who 
pray not ? God counts them forgetters of him ; and he Cays, 
that " the wicked (hall be turned into hell, and alf natrons 
that forget God,'* Mai. ix, 17. 

. 10. Do ye lie or fwear, and fo take God's name in vain ? 
Did you never fwear by the name of God in your ordinary 
ta 1 k ? or did you ever make a lie to exeufe or hide a fault ? 
Thefe alfo are (ins ; and God has faid, that liars, and. Near- 
er a (hall have their part in the lake that burns with fire 
and brimftone, Rev. xxi. 8. 

xi. I will only put this one queftion more to you. Did 
you never go to your play, when ye mould have been at 
your prayers? Now, take heed ; ye know ye have done fo.. 
Well, what think ye will be the end of thofe who do (oi 
Becanfe ye will not feek God, he will not fare you;, he* 
.will reject you, when ye have moft need of help- 
Now, dear children, I have a great refpecl to you ; fain 
would I have you faved from. hell. It is becaufe I defire 
your- good t that I have been your fins. 1 fhall 
therefore, before I leave you, 1. Putfome few queft ions 
to you for your awakening. a> I fhall give you a counfel 
or two. 3. I (hall give you fame encouragement* to fol- 
low the advices given you. 

1, Then, I would alk you fome few queftions; and Fbeg. 
it of you to take heed how you hear them. And (1.) Tell: 
me, Did ye ever think of death? If you lock at a grave 
when it is opened, there, inftead ofone that had life, that 
could fpeak, walk, and do all other things which ye can 
do; now you fee there is nothing but rotten bones, con- 
fumed ftinking fl em, which dogs will fcarcely come, near, . 
and filthy gore. Well, ye will in a little time be jdft in 
that cafe yourfelves. Ye m lift die. No doubt ye hav« 
heard of fome of your companions, or fome other children^ . 
who have died? and cannot tell but ye may die next. (2.); 
If ye do think of death,, what think will become of 
you, if thefe fins which ye have.done, and of which I have 
now told you, be not forgiven? Then, without all doubt, . 
you will go to hell. And O ! can ye tell what a place hell 
is? It is a terrible place indeed. It may be, ye would 
' think it. a terrible thing if any mould put your finger in 
the hot fire; and indeed it would be fo. What then 
4o ye think will be the pain ye (halifuffer, when God will 



eaft you, foul and body, into hell-fire : and this will fure- 
ly be your' portion, if ye get not grace. (3.) If once ye 
be caft into hell, do ye think ever to get cut again i I af- 
fure you, God has faid ye (hall not. Though ye weep till 
your hearts break, God will not hear you. Ye have done 
with mercy, if once ye die in your fins. God'*eye will not 
fpare ; his heart will not pity you. Therefore, if ye would 
efcape hell, I (hall tell you, 

2« What ye muft do, by offering yon two or three, good 
counfels: (l.) Whenever ye go home this night, get into 
fome quiet corner or other, and there betake you to God 
in prayer. Say with the poor deftrefled publican, " Lord, 
be merciful to me a finner." Say, Lord, thou haft pro- 
mifed a new heart to finners like me ; and I have need of 
it, for ray heart is very bad : awl fay, Lord, give me Chrift, 
feve me from my fins for Chrift's fake. Who knows but 
the Lord, who hears the lions and ravens when they cry 
for food, may hear yon ? (2.) You that can read the Bibk 
or the Catechifm, read then; but take care, before ye read 
that ye go and pray to God, that he may blefs them to you, 
and make you underftand what you read. (3.) Take care 
that ye never lie, fwear, or break the Sabbath, or commit 
again thefe fins which we were telling you of a little while 
ago. (4.) Run out of the company of fuch as do lie, fwear 
or break the Sabbath ; for God will deftroy them that 
keep company with fuch. " A companion of fools fhall be 
deftroyed," Prov. xiii. 20. (6.) Wait on them who will 
iaftruft you, and follow the good advices they give you : 
"Walk with the wife, aud ye {ball be wife," Prov. xiii. 
20. (6.) Be fure that ye pray to God lo foonasye have 
got 911 your clothes in the morning, and before you caft 
them off at night. Now, if ye will follow thefe advices I 

3. Tell you fome things to encourage you in fo doing, 
(1.) God has made a promife, that they who begin foon to 
ftek him lhall come fpeed. " I love them that love me, 
and they that feek me early (hall find me," Prov. viii. 17* 
(2.) God has a great liking to fuch as begin to feek him ear- 
ly. He commends them highly ; and has left upon record 
the names of fome young converts; fuch as Abijah, in the 
hoafe of a wicked Jeroboam, and good Jofiah, vi^ote wrtV| 
piety it much commended, 2 Chron. xxxVr. $. tt V* ^* 


eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, hs be 
to feok after the God of his father David : " and thi 
left upon record for making others to begin early to i 
God. (3.) Jefus Chrift, in the days of his flelh, was ' 
ling to entertain, with the mo ft tender affeeYion 9 li 
children that were brought unto trim ; and when his d: 
pies would have them kept away, he rebuked them, and 1 
faid, u Suffer little children to come unto me, and foi 
them not, for of fuch is the kingdom of heaven. Am 
took them up in his arms, and put his hands on them, 
blefled their*," Mark x. 14. 36. And 1 can afTnre 
he is no Id's kind now than he was then; for he is 
fame yefterday, tc-day, and for ever. Now, if he wj 
kind to children that were brought to him, what will h 
to thofe who themfe*lves do come to him ? Oi if ye k 
how good he is, you would never beat reft till you got no 
where he is to be found; and then ye would go to him ; 
I dare promife you welcome. (4.) That I may have done 1 
you, 1 tell you for your encouragement, that if ye will b 
early, and feek God, ye ihall beamongft thefe child re 
whom the kingdom of heaven is. God will blefs you, 
all his people will blefs you; yea, all generations i 
call you bletfed. 

Thus far my love to your fouls has led me. I would 
h*ve yon faved ; and therefore, a 1 travel in birth 
Chrift be formed in you." Omake glad ray heart, _n 
glad the heart of my great M after, make glad the he 
of all the people of God ; and rejoice your parent's he* 
in complying with thefe wholefome counfels, which ] 
fureyour parents will defire, if they be not worfe 
the very beads. In a word, feek God, and fave ; 

Now we have done with the firft fort of perfons ' 
whom we undertook to deal. The tendernefs of their 
pacity has obliged us to digrefs from our method w 
we did lay down in the entry upon this ufe, and wl 
by the Lord's affiftance, we ihall clofely follow in 1 

It may be, fome of thefe who are come to age, 
look upon this as tedious and unpleafant which we 1 
been upon, becaufe there has been nothing here but v 
they, it way be, knew before, and whit> itmtj be > 1 



judge parents might inform their children in. But we 
mull tell fnch, that the delign of preaching ia not to gra- 
tify itching ears with new difcover'nrs, but to reform 
hearts by the old, yet new truths of God, which will nev- 
er wear old to them who are acquainted with the power of 
them ; that children have fouls as well a a they ; that their 
fouls arc no lets precious than thofe of adult psrfons ; that 
we have the charge of the one as well as the other ; that 
the Lord has fometimes been pleafed to reach the heart of 
children by fuchfamiliar applications ; that we are obli- 
ged to be all things to all men, that fo we may win fometo 
Chrift. In fine, we mud tell fuch, that we are particu- 
larly obliged, by onr Lord's command formerly quoted, 
to encourage children to come to h*m, and therfeore we 
could not but endeavour to deal with them, and that in a 
way fuitable in lome me a fine to their capacities : what is 
old to you, may be new to them* and a new drop of the 
influences of God's Spirit would even make thefe very 
truths, which formerly yon have known, have a new and 
better relilh than formerly they had, 

I fhall now proceed, in the fecond place, to you who 
have ftepped out of childhood into youth, or into middle 
age, and (hall endeavour to fix guilt -upon you. Hitherto ' 
we have made it appear, that you are guilty : now we 
come to tell you, and to condefcend on fome particulars 
whereof you are guilty. We told yon, nay proved, that you 
were defiled: now, we (hall, as it were, point to the ve- 
ry fpot. We have made it appear that ye have finned : 
now we Hull take you to the places, as it were where ye 
have finned, that ye may get no way of fhifting the chal- 
lenge. And becaufe now we find you in the houfe of God, 
we OiaH, 

1. Examine yon a little in reference to your conduct; 
there. You have frequently come here 5 you have fre- 
quently prefented yourfelves before God as his people ; 
but I fear, if your carriage in this matter be narrowly 
fanned, you fhall be found finners before the Lord in 
reference to this. I (hall, in the name of that God in 
whofe courts ye tread, put three queftioas to your con- 
fciences, (1.) What brings yow ordinarily here? Come 
ye 10 facririce to the world's idol, cuftora, Y>tCAv\te \>&vi 
»rc \\\ -looked upon who fray away \ or corae ^e> ^ ft.<*v 



the mouth of a natural confcience, that would give yoi 
no reft if ye (laid away > or come ye to fee and be feen > 01 
to gratify curiofity merely ? I fear thefe be the defigns on 
which not a few of you come ; and if fo, then you art 
found guilty before God, who requires you to come up- 
on other defigns, even to wait on him, that ye may fee 
his power and glory in the fandhiary, as his people have 
feen him heretofore. (2.) What do ye here, when ye are 
come ! Do ye hear the word of God merely as an idle 
tale ? Do ye put truths by yourfelves, and apply them to 
others? Do ye fuffer your minds to roam up and down 
upon the mountains of vanity, looking at this or the o- 
ther thing or perfon } Do you obferve more the way of 
the truths being fpoken, than the truth of God itfelf ? 
Are you more intent in obferving the inftrument than ia 
lifleuing to the voice of God ? Let your confeiences fpeak, 
and I am fure a great many of thefe evils ye will find your- 
felves guilty of. (3.) I would pofe you, as to the fruit of 
thefe approaches. What good get ye for your- coming ? 
Do ye get convidVions, and fhiftthem? Do ye get calls, 
and fit them ? Do ye bear reproofs, and hate them ? Do 
ye hear inftrudtions, and forget them ? Who of you can 
clear yourfelves of thefe fius> fins done in the very ore- 
fence of God, fins wherein his honour and glory is in a 
more than ordinary manner concerned, becaufe they do 
extremely refledt upon it. 

2. We fhall next follow you to your employments, and 
inquire a little what your carriage is there. I take it for 
granted, that all of you have fome hone ft occupation or 
other. If there be any who have not, thefe perfon s, as 
they fin in wanting, becaufe thereby they idle away Gtd's 
talents ; fo they lie open to all fins. Now, fuch of you 
as have employments, I fhall defire you to anfwer me a 
few queftionsin reference to your deportment in them. 
And, (1.) I would know if ye did confult God in the choice 
of them ? Did ye make it your endeavour to underftand 
what God was calling yon to? God, either by giving a 
man fpecial endowments, a peculiar genius, with other 
congruous circumftances) or by hedging up the way to all 
other employments, or fome one fuch providential way 
or other, calls every one to a particular employment ; and 
therefore, when we engage in any, we tttovAd endeavour 



to tinder ft and God's mind in it, what it is our duty to (^o ; 
for we are commanded, in all our ways to acknowledge 
God, Prov. iii. 6. u In all thy ways acknowledge him, 
and be (hall direft thy paths." Now, did ye m this ftep 
ofyourwjy acknowledge God, 1 mean in the choice of 
your employments ? I fear, few dare lay that they howed 
their knee to God to crave his diredion. Well, then, 
here your iniquities have found you out. (2.) Do ye fet 
God before you in following your employments ? Do ye 
make it your bufinefs to know how ye may glorify God 
in them ? Whatever we do, we are obliged to do it to 
the glory of God. Let confeience now fpeak, and it will 
tell many of you, that to this very <iay, ye never had a 
thought of promoting the glory of God by your employ* 
roents. So that here you are found guilty, not of fame 
one (in only, but of a traft of fin, and that even from the 
■morning of your day continued till now. (3.) Doyede- 
J)end upon God for a blefling upon the work of your hands > 
Who of you dare fay, that however ye do ufe means dili- 
gently, yet it is to God ye look for the bl effing > And are 
ye earned in dealing with God, that he may fucceed the 
wor,ks of your hands, and make you profper in them? 
(4.) To whom do ye attribute the fuccefsof them } When 
the Lord fucceeds the work of your hands, do ye heartily 
ble(9 God for It ^ Dare ye fay, that this leads you to 
praife the God of your mercies, and to walk humbly be- 
fore him, who deals kindly even with the unthankful and 
fi oners, and has given a proof of this, in giving you fuc- 
cefs in thefe employments r (5.) When ye are fuccefsful 
in them, what ufe make ye of your fuccefs ? Does it en- 
4$ag« you to the ways of God, and make you walk more 
jiombly ? or are you lifted up, and forget yourfelves, and 
forget the Lord ? And do ye fpend upon the fervice of fin 
what the Lord has gracioufly given to you ? Sure, if ye 
confeientiofly put thefe queftions home to your own hearts, 
they will difcover very much fin. But, 

3. We fliall, in the next place, take a view of you in 

your converfe in the world, and there fee whether we 

can find you guilty of fm or not. And with refpea to 

I your converfe in the world, I would pofe you upon a few 

things. And, 

{1-) I put the quettion to you. "What ctrea^l *° "** 


make choice of? Do ye chufe the company of them tb#t 
fear God, or the company of irreligious perfous } 1 am 
fure, if many of you deal impartially with your own 
•hearts in this matter, ye **ill find guilt. Your confiden- 
ces can tell, that you hare the grrateft intimacy with per* 
Tons who have no religion, perfons who have no fear of 
God before their. eyes; nor regarding what the wife man 
long ago obferved, that u he that walks with the wife 
fhall be wife, but a companion of fools (hall be deftroyed," 
Vrov. xiii. Jio. And fuch are all irreligious men in God's 
account. I would not be understood to extend this too 
4ar, as fome, through a mi (lake dangerous enough, do, as 
4f thereby we weneforbid civil or neighbourly conyerfe 
with perfons that are not religious-; for this is not only 
J awful, but a doty ; we have not only fcriptu re- com- 
mands to this pnrpofe, but the very law of nature obli- 
ges us to it ; and we are fure, God did never by any po- 
sitive precept enjoin us any thing contrary to this. Nay, 
upon the contrary, we ice plainly, that a walk according 
*o the law of niture in this matter is .highly congruous to 
religion. If fuch perfons do vrfit us, wejnay vifit them 
again, and carry it friendly. This is one part of that 
courteoufnafs that the a poftle Peter enjoins us, I Pet. iii. 
.8. u Finally-, be ye ail of one mind, having companion 
one of another ; 'Jove as brethren, be pitiful, be courte- 
ous." And whereas the refufal of civil converfe, in in- 
quiring after one another's health, vifiting at fome times, 
and the likeacls of kindnefs, is looked upon by fome as a 
piece of ftridnefs, it is quite otherwife; for the very con- 
trary is determined to be a piece of perfection, by our 
great Lord and Mailer, who is the bed judge, Matth. Y, 
47, 48. u And if ye falute your brethren only, what do 
•ye more than others ? do not even the publicans fo > Be 
ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in hea- 
ven is perfect." The plain meaning of which 3s this, A 
-Chriftian fliould be a man every way beyond others, and 
fhould have fometbing peculiar in the whole of his con- 
dud ; but if ye deal only civilly and neighbourly with 
thole of your own perfuafion, with tbofe who in every 
thing do jump with you, wherein do ye go beyond the 
publicans and finners, the mod fignally impious wretches 
{Jhat the wsrld can ihew : Again, even thieves and rob- 


hers will keep Com* correspondence anil civility towards 
ihofe of their own fort ; but Cliriittan perfection calls for 
more enlargement of foul, and require* that we carry o- 
bligingly to all, and perform, as occafion calls, all the 
duties of love, which comprehend certainly thefe of civil 
converfe and n *?hboorliuefs, as the apoftle puts beyond 
all queftioo, i Cor. x. 27. u If any of them that be- 
lieve not, bid yon to a feaft, and ye be difpofed to go ; 
whatsoever is fct before you, eat, afkiug no qu eft ion for 
conscience fake." Thus we fee Chriftians are allowed to 
converfe civilly with thofe who are unbelievers. And in- 
deed not to do fo, has a tendency to bring the way of God 
into contempt, and to make religion to be evil fpoken of, 
aud is contrary to the very fpirit of the gofpel, and to 
thefe many exprefs commands which we have, of adorning 
Che gofpel, and of converting, fo as thereby we may leave* 
a testimony upon the confeieuces of men. Nay, it is to 
bear witnefs againft God's goodnefs, and to rub fliame up- 
on our religion, as if it did narrow our fouls, and make 
oa defective in thofe duties which it obliges us to abound 
in. But though what we have faid doth condemn the un- 
chriftian rigidity of fome, yet it will not juftify the un* 
warrantable choice of perfons who have no religion, tor 
our intimates, or for our ordinary and daily companions. 
No ; we Are obliged to guard againft this. If we do thi5, 
we are out of our duty, and therefore have no re at on to 
promife to ourfelves God's protection. A perfon that 
walks, that ordinarily converfes with fuch men, has reafon 
to fear that the Lord may leave him to become like to 
them ; and this intimacy, I fear, is what mod of you are 
guilty of* 

(a.) I would afk you, What company do ye delight 
moil in } This is a great indication of the frame of the 
heart. A man that takes moft plea fu re in the company 
of irreligious perfons, furely fins in it. Some, when ihey 
are in tho company of the godly, carry it as if they thought 
themfelves in fetters s and whenever they get out of it, 
to their own companions again, their minds are at eafe, 
and they find fatisfaltion ; as a man doth that is loofed out 
of the (locks. Are there none here whofe confeiences can 
tell them that they are of this number ? Let fatVv WY> 


to thefirfl pfalm, and firft verfe, and there they w 
how far other wife they ought to carry il. 

(3.) I would further put the queftion to you, 
converfe do ye delight in ? fcomc 1 it may be, lik 
enough the company of perfons that are religious ; 
is not for their religious converfe, but l* lufethey 2 
fable, difcreet, learned, judicious, or have fome 
Juch qualifications as trhefe. If any of you fay ye lo 
company of religious perfons, is it for the rdigi 
their converfe ? 1 fear few can fay it is ; and thereto 
can fay they are clean in this matter. I (hall not 1 
rake to difcourfe of all the (ins of converfe ; it would 
mod tndlefs. Only I would r with refpect to youi 
verfe, defire yon every night to put a queflion or t 
your own hearts, and thereby yon will difcover mil 
[1.] Say, Tell me now* O my foul, what have 1 
doing i«) company ? Have I bridled my tongue? r 
kept it from vain,- \dle r and fruitlef* difcourfe, thi 
in company with others ? James i. 26* 4i If any a 
inong you feem to be religious, and bridleth n< 
tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that man's re 
is vain }"' andcODfeqtiently all he dotli is fin. [2.] 
I endeavoured to be edifying in my difcourfe ? Ep 
29. " Let no corrupt communication proceed out o 
mouthy but that which h good to the nfe of edi 
that k nay minifter grace to the hearers." [3.] I 
fpoken evil of no. body ? Tit, lii. 2. u Put them il 
to fpeak evil of no man ; for we ourfelvcs were fom 
foolift, difobedient," &c. 1 Pet. ii. 1- " Whei 
laying a fide all malice r and all guile, and hypocrifi< 
envies, and all evil-fpeakings, as new-born babes, def 
fiiicere milk of the word, that' they may grow the 
One that would obferve the ordinary converfe o 
part of people, would be ready to think, that eithe 
Never read or heard thefe laws, or that they never < 
ed what they beard- Look to yeurfelves here, a 
ferve your own ways, and O what fin will appear in 
Thefe three queftions will difcover almoft ir.nuir 
fiis every day ; and if one day have fe many, whi 
.many c*ays have? Nay, how many fins in fome n 
or yeais, will you be guilty of? But, 
. (4*) If we proceed to confider you as you are reh 



others, vc will be fure to irake further difccveTies of fin 
in your carnage. All of you Hand fome one or more ways 
related to ethers : ye are titl er matters or fcrvant;, pa- 
rents or children, hufbands cr wives : cow, every one of 
thefe relations have peculiar duties belonging to them, and 
lay tbofe who contrail fuch relations under peculiar obli- 
gations to walk according to the rules prefer ibed them of 
God ; and therefore we may and do fir, in walking con- 
trary to thefe divine prefcriptions. We (hall not attempt 
to mention the particular fins you may be guilty of In your 
feveral relations ; this were a work that would airport be 
endlefs ; therefore we (ball only pitch upon fome general?, 
which may difcover to your confeiencts that ye fin in all 
of them.. [1.] I fry moft of you do fin in contracting thefe 
relations. How few matters dare fay, that in the choice, 
of their fervants they went to Gcd for ccunfel ? And how- 
few matters can fay, that ever they acknowledged God in 
the choice of their fcrvant?. Nay-, it may be, when we 
have been an xi on fly defirous to have good fervants, even 
then we have not btcn at the pains to confult God ; nor 
minding that gracious dire^ion that is given ly the Spirit 
of God, Phil. iv. 6. u Be careful for nothing; but in 
every thing by prayer and fnpplication, with thankfgiv- 
ing, let your requefts be made known unto God." Nay, 
is it not to be feared, that, in the chcice of hufbands and 
wives, few do inquire the mind cf God? Now, 1 am 
fure, if ye deal impartially *ith yotr own heans, ye will 
find, that here ye have finned, and have not acknowledged 
God in your ways. £2.] Do ye fcek direclion of God,, 
how to carry in your relations ? I fear the confeiences of J 
many of yon can tell, that ye never ate at pains to inquire 
in reference to the duties called for at your hands. Mcftt 
are quickfightcd enough in obfervirig the advantages or 
difadvantages that redound to their temporal concerns by 
thefe relations, brit have never a fericus thought of the 
duties called for at their hand ; and therefore herein ye- 
may all in more or lefs, find yonrfelves guilty. [g.J Do. 
ye make it your aim to promote the fpiritnal advantage of 
your relations ? Servant?, do ye prey for your matters? 
Matters, do ye pray for your fervants, that tfcty may be^ 
acquainted with God's ways? If not, furely y,e fm\ fox* 
prayers are to be j»aje for all, but \ti a t^ttuX -mroeft* tov 


thofein whom we have Co peculiar a concernment. Nay, we 
fear, which is yet more fad, that there are not a few huf- 
bands and wives, parents and children, who pray not for 
one another* How fad is it to think, that there fhould in 
thefe relations, be fo much care for the outward man, and fo 
little for the inward > The parent will toil himfelf night 
and day before the child want bread, and it may be, fo will 
the child do for the parent ; and. yet, it may be, never one 
of i hem fpent an hour in wreftling with God about one 
another's eternal falvation. Are there no confeiences here 
this day acenfing any of fins'in this matter? Sure I am, 
there are here who have ground fufficient for accufation. 

(j.) We fhall follow you into your clofets, and there a 
little inquire what ye do. [i.] Whether take ye moil time 
in the morning for adorning your fouls, or for adorn- 
ing your bodies? I fear the foul gets the lead part of 
your time ; nay, it may be, fome of you will go abroad 
to your employments, and never bow a knee to God. 
Sure here is (in enough to fink you lower than the grave. 
[z.] If you do pray in fecret, what leads you to it ? Is it 
confeience of duty ? Is it cuftom, or fome fuch principle as 
this ? I fear few can fay, that when they go to prayer, they 
do it from a fincere refpect to their duty ; and therefore, 
1 fear, but few can juftify themfelves as to their defign in the 
duty. [3.] When you do pray, is it a burden to you? Are 
ye foon weary of it, and glad when it is over and by hand, 
as it were ? I fear mod of your confeiences can tell, that it is 
indeed fo, that ye fay of the fervice of God, what a burden 
is it to you ? [4.] Once more, I would afk you, what good 
get you by your prayers ? Can ye ever fay, that yon were 
heard? Can you ever fay, ye received grace for enabling you 
to the confeientious difcharge of any duty ? Moft part, I 
fear, can fay no more of their prayers, but that they pray- 
ed, or rather have faid words without any fenfe, either of 
the advantage of doing fo, or of the need they ftand in of 
the things they afk of God in prayer t doth not confeience 
teli, that it is fo with many of you ? 

(6.) And laftly, I would come a little nearer for the dif- 
covery of your (infulnefs, I have a queftion or two to put 
to you, in reference to your thoughts. And, [1.] I afk 
you, What thoughts are moft numerous? Whether fpend 
ye moft thoughts about your fouls^ or about your bodies- 


fcbout God, or about the world? abotu other things that 
contribute nothing to yoiu happinefs, or ib< \\t that which 
tends to the eternal fecurity of ycur fouls? Here, if you 
look in, you will find crowds of fin?, [z.] What thoughts 
take ye moft delight in ? If thefe he carntl and eanhly, 
then fuch is yonr mind ; and u to ta carnally minded is 
death," Rom. viii. 6. [3.] What thoughts do ye allow 
yourfelves in ? and to what fort of them do ye give way ? 
If thefe be not fuch as make for the gloiy of God, then 
here ye are found guilty before God. 

Now, we have done with you of a middle age. In what 
we have faid for your convicuon, we have rathtr mention- 
ed fuch things as are unquestionably fmful, than endeav- 
oured to reftrift ourfelves to thofe Hns that are peculiarly 
incident to your age. This we have willingly (bunned, be- 
caufc it would have obliged us to fpend almofl as many fer- 
mons as there are different ways of life to which perfona 
of this age do betake tbemfelves. Before I proceed to the 
third fort of perfons, I (hall put a few questions to you* 
(1.) Though ye had beett guilty of no more fins, fave thefe 
which we charged not long ago upon children, would not 
thefe bare been fufficient to have ruined you ? ( 2. ) What 
will your cafe be then, who have finned over and above all 
thefe which we have now laid to your charge, and referred 
to your own confciencs for proof of what we have faid ? (3.) 
When generals make you guilty of fo many firs, what will 
particulars do ? When ye are found guilty of fo many finful 
ways in your thoughts or words; what will be your cafe, 
when you are brought to particulars; for example, if ye 
fin, by fpeaking idly, or evil of others what will it amount 
to when every particular idle word fliall be charged upon 
you? (4.) If every fin deferves the wrath of God, what 
will be the cafe of thofe who fliall flep into eternity laden 
with all thefe innumerable evils? How many hells will 
their one hell have in it ? 

Think, and think ferioufly,upon thefe things, and I be- 
lieve ye will find it hard to reft fatisfied, till ye underfrand 
how fuch vaft debts may be discharged, and how ye fliall 
anfwer when reproved for fo many ancUfo great offences. 
Think on thefe things, I fay, and dwell upon the thoughts 
of them, till ye be made to fee your own raifery, and then 
ihe news of a Saivour will be welcome. 



I (hall now proceed, in the third place, to fpeak to you 
who arc old men. Ye whofe faces fpeak your age, and tell 
that ye are quickly to be gone, we are now particularly 
to addrefs ourfelves to you, and to make good our charge 
of fin again ft yon, from incontcftable evidences and proofs* 
Give ear therefore, old men and old women ; though you 
le potting off the ftage, and it may be, are within a few re- 
moves of eternity, yet ye have not perhaps duly confidcr- 
ed your own (late and condition: we muft tell you, in 
God's name, ye have finned, and come fhort of his glory. 
And, for proof of this, 

i. We need go no further than your very faces. What 
. has confumed your youthful beauty ? What has turned 
that fmoothnef:, which in the days of your youth was, it 
may be, your own delight, and that of others, into thefe 
many wrinkles which now every one fees, and ye may feel ? 
Has not fin, or God upon the account of fin, done it ? li Thou . 
haft filled me with wrinkles,'' fays Job, " which is a wit- 
nefs againft me, and my leannefs rifing up in me, beareth wit- 
nefs to my face," Job xvi. 8. If ye be not finners, tell me^ 
I. pray, whence are the unfteady hands, the dim eyes, the 
mouldered teeth, that palenefs of the vifage, that approach- 
es near to the colour of that mould into which a little hence 
ye are to be turned ? Are not all thefe things proofs of 
your guilt, and witnefles againft you? 

2. Have ye not parted through childhood and youth ? and 
have not ye the fins done in thefe ages to account for > What, 
how many, and how grievous they are, ye may in fome 
meafure underftand from what has been difcourfed on 
this head fome days paft. Now fure, if your confeiences 
have been awake all the while, you might underftand your 
concernment in thefe things, and how deeply guilty ye are,. 
though ye had no more to account for but thefe. It is ac- 
counted by the Spirit cf God, to be one of the great miferies 
of the wicked, that they fhall lie down in their graves with 
their bones full of the fins of their youth, : 44 His bones 
are full of the (ins of his youth, which fhall lie down with 
him in the dud," Job. .xx. u. Thefe, though there were 
no more, will rot- your bones, gnaw your hearts, and make 
you lofe the repofe which many times ye propofe to your- 
felves in the grave. 

3. Ye have had much time, and doubt, loft math 


time. Many precious-hours, and days, and years are fpent 
and gone, and nothing, or nothing to purpofe, done in them. 
And for evincing this, i fhall put a few queiVions to you 
about the improvement of your time, (1.) What have 
y« done for God in it? The great bufmefs ye came into 
the world for, the great defign of your creation, was the 
advancement of the glory of God : " The Lord hath" 
made all things for himfelf, and even the wicked for the 
day of evil," Prov. xvi. 4- Now, are there not old 
men and old women here, who have lived all- their days, 
and dare not fay, that to this very day they ever had a 
ferious thought of advancing the glory of God ? To fuch 
we fay, Ye have hitherto done nothing but finned ; your 
whole life has been nothing but one continued trad of 
fin. As many thoughts, as many words, as ma^r.y aclions, 
fo many fins, (2.) What have ye done for the church of 
God? Every one is obliged to do fomething or other 
for the church, Pfal. cxxii. 6, 7, 8. " Pray for the peace 
of JVrofalem: they (hall proffer that love thee. Peace 
be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. 
For my brethen and companions lakes, I will now fay, 
Peace be within thee : becaufe of the houfe of the Lord 
our God, 1 will ftek thy good." Now, are there not old 
men and old women here, who never Hied one tear for the 
church of God, who never were cohcerned for its welfare. 
I fear there are not a few here, even old people, who^have 
feen many changes, but never had any concern for the- 
church of God. If their private worldly concerns went 
well with them, it was no matter to them what became 
of religion; let it fink or fwim, it was all one to them. 
Such are grievous finncrs before the Lord. (3.) What have 
ye done for your fouls ? The Lord has given every one 
of us a great work to do. We have our falvation to work 
out with fear and trembling. He has given us a day to do 
it in ; and that day is to be followed with an evening 
wherein none can work. Now, what of this work is by- 
hand ? Your day is almoft fpent : is it not the twilight 
with many of you already ? I fear, I fear, there arc here 
old men, over whom the (hadows of the everlafting even* 
ing are jufl ready to be ftretched forth, who have their 
work yet to begin. O fad and mournful condition I A 
great work to begin I a work that hath co,Rl m*v^ n»uYv^ 



nights, and fore toil and labour for many years;- and this 
ye have to begin now, when your day is al moil gone, when 
your fun is. letting, it, as it were, going-over the Bill, 
and ready immediately to fink down and leave you in 
eternal night .* This cafe were enough even to rend a heari 
of ftone^aad to force tears from a rock, if duly confidercd. 
O ! w-hat fin, what folly,. what mifery, is there here ! 

4. You have feen many providences, both fuch as were 
of a-4Bore public nature, and concerned the (late of th< 
church of God in general, and fuch as concerned your- 
felves more particularly. Now, here I again inquire, 
(it) What obfervation* have- ye made? The providence: 
of God defenre to- have* a peculiar mark pit upon them 
u Remember that tnou magnify his works which men be- 
hold, " Job xxxv i. 24. is a command of God that ex« 
tends to all :.and it is a grievous fin, for which we findi 
profeffing people heavily threatened, that they did not re. 
gard the Lord's doings r u Woe unto them that rife up 
early in the morning,, that they may follow ftrong drink, 
that continue until night till wine inflame them* an<j 
the harp and the viol, the tablet and the pipe, and win< 
ate 3n their feafti j but they regard not tbe work of tin 
Lord, neither confide* the operation of his band," Ifa. v 
11, i%« Now, are there not many providences loft, an< 
therefore as many (msr (2.,) What experiences have y< 
got ? Many providences afford many experiences 4 and thej 
who have managed them to advantage, have reaped nota- 
ble advantages by them, for their confirmation in the way; 
of God ; and if ye have not done fo, ye have as many fim 
as ye have loft experiences* (3.) Where* have they lef 
you } nearer or further off from God than they fotm< 
you ? Every providence, mercy, or judgment, that bai 
not brought you nearer to God, has carried you furthei 
from him ; and eonfequently therein ye have finned. C 
what multitudes of fins are here 1 

5. .As you are guilty by committing fins of yonr own, 
fo you have contracted much guilt by feeing other men fin. 
when you have not been fuitably exercifed therewith 
That we (hould be exercifed with other men's fins, thi 
fcripture makes mention exprefsly. Now, that I may le 
you fee how many ways ye have finned here, I pofe you up 
en h. (1.) You have feen many tins committed; wha 

THE tttttLTY SINNER COtfVICtfeD. 95 

testimonies have ye given againft'them ? Every en e that 
fees God difhonoured, (hould give a teftimony for bim, 
•-either by reproving fin, according to the direction of 
the apoftle, Eph. v. n. u Have no fellowfhip with 
the unfruitful works of darknefs, but rather reprove 
them :" or, by withdrawing from the fociety of fuch, ac- 
cording to the command of the Spirit of God, who bids us 
44 go from the prefenceof a foolifh man, when we perceive 
not in him the lips of knowledge," Prov. xiv. 7. For 
fouie times any other reproof, than by withdrawing, may 
*be improper ; for the wife man forbids us to " reprove 
a (corner, leaft he hate us," Prov. ix. 8. or, if this can- 
not be got done, without the neglect of moral dnties, there 
*isyet another way we may give a teftimony again ft fin ; 
and that is, by a circumfpe& walk, evidencing a regard to 
-God, a belief of his threatening6, and the advantage of re- 
ligion. Thus Noah reproved or condemned the old world, 
Heb. x. 7. Now fpeak, old tinners, what teftimonies of 
this fort have ye given againft fin ) As many as ye have 
neglected, as many fins ye ftand guilty of before the Lord, 
(a,) Ye have feen many fins ; how many tears have ye fhed ? 
J fear there are here old men and old women, who never 
fig he d who never groaned or cried for all the abominations 
that they have feen committed in our land. It is our du- 
ty to mourn for the /ins of others. There is a mark of 
■prefervation ordered to be put upon the foreheads of them 
that mourn for the fins of the land wherein they live, 
Ezek. ix. 4. u And the Lord faid unto him, (the man that 
hxd the writer's ink-horn by his fide,) Go through the 
midft of the city, through the midft of Jerufalem, and fet 
a mark upon the foreheads of the men that iigh, and that 
cry for all the abominations that be done in the midft there- 
of." And in the following verft, the deftroying angel is 
commanded to fpare neither old, nor young, fave only 
thofe w-ho have that mark upon them. I fear there are 
few mourners here, among thefe who have feen many and 
inonftrous fins. IJhall not now fpeak of the national abomi- 
nations which you have feen 5 but I am fure there are few 
ef yon come to age, who have not heard many horrid 
oaths fworn : you have feen horrid villanies committed ; 
many dreadful provocations. Now, dare ye Cay «v\k ^V«. . 
Pfalmift, in that ixgth Pfalm, vcr. 5^. " Tftoxivt V*x\v 


taken hold of nie, becaufetranfgretfbrs keep not thy law.* 1 
It may be, old hardeued Tinners think little of this ft* 
yet God is brought in, as it were, wondering at it, it 
Jcr. xxxvi. 24. when the roll containing Jeremiah's pro- 
phecies was burnt, it is noted as a wonder! 11 1, a monftrou 
wickednefs, that they were not concerned, that they dii 
not mourn: u Yet," fays God, " they were not afraid 
nor rant their garments, neither the King nor any of hi 
fervants, that heard all thefe words." 1 fear, even thof 
who fpeak againft the fins of others, are guilty of them 
by not mourning over them. (3.) You have feen many fins 
and how many prayers have ye put up for the pardon o 
them r There is an exprefs command to this purpofe 
1 John v. 16. u If any man fee his brother fin a fin 
which is not unto death, he Ihall afk, and he fhall-giv 
him life for them that fin not unto death." It may be, y 
have condemned others, and cried out upon them for thei 
fins, while in the mean time ye are partakers with then 
becaufe of your not praying for them, according to thi 

6. I fay to you, ye are great finners, for ye have ha> 
many mercies, and I fear have abufed mercies. If I fhoul 
begin here to recount particular mercies, I might knoi 
whereto begin, but fcarce where to make an end. 1 fha) 
only inquire at you, (1.) Do ye yet know the God of you 
mercies ? Hof. ii. 8. I fear majvy of you dare not fay it 
(2.) What improvement have ye made of them ? Has th 
goodnefs of God led you to repentance, as it ill 011 Id do 
Rom- ii. 4. (3.) Once more, I a(k you, have ye return 
ed to the Lord, according to the mercies received ? Pu 
thefe three queftions home to your confciences, and Ib< 
lieve they will difcover many fins which ye never thought o 

7, Old finners, ye have undergone many changes; y 
are far decayed. Then let me aflc you, ( 1.) Are your foul 
renewed, as your outward man perifhes ? I fear, I feai 
there are few among you who are bringing forth fruit i 
old age, who, when others fade, are fat and full of fap. (2. 
Has your love to fin decayed £ If this charge were to fa 
obferved, it were a great blefling ; but I fear, that howevc 
flrength may be failed, fo far that ye cannot fulfil you 
lnfts as formerly, yet the old love to them remains. 

. 8. Old fmner?, ye have feen much of the world; an 


re I afk you, arc ye not guilty, (i ) By neglecling 
toy difcoveries of its vanity, which might have been of 
eat ufe to you, if duly obferved ? (z.) By retaining the 
me love to it, after many difcoveries of its uncertainty 
id emptinefs. 

9. Once more, and I have done with you. Old Tinners, 
>u have lived long, and dsath is at the door. God has 
ven you much time to provide for it ; and 1 fear ye are 
lilty, extremely guilty, by not improving time. And 
ir di (covering your fin here, I {kail lay a few queftions 
;fore you, and I plead that ye may lay them home to 
our own confeiences. (1.) Are ye ft ill content to die ? 
; is the indifpenfible duty of all, to be ever content to 
amply with the will of God in this matter ; and, upon a 
all, to be ready cheerfully to comply with the will of 
rod as to death, the time and manner of it. Now, old 
nners, are ye content ? It may be, fome of you will for- 
'ardly enough anfwer, that ye are content : but if ye fa/ 
), I afk you, (2.) Arc ye ready to die? 1 fear fome are 
ontent to die, who are not ready : fome may, in a lit of 
i (con tent at the world, upon the back of fome notable 
ifappointment, be fo well content to die, that they will 
\y hands upon themfelves, who are yet very far from be- 
ig ready to die. If ye pretend that ye are, then, for dif- 
fering the truth of what ye fay, I inquire, (3.) Are 
oar fins dying? A perfon whofe fins are lively, he is 
ever ready to die. (4.} Are ye in Jefus Chrift ? Thofe 
ho are out of him are never ready to die. It is only 
aefe who are ready to u die in the Lord," Rev. xiv. 13. 
'ho are ready indeed to die. (5.) Is your pardon fealed > 
teath will try you ; and if your pardon be not fealed, ye 
rill find that ye are fcarce ready to die. (6.) I put this 
nequeftion more to yon : Have you provided your lodg- 
igs? It is high time, when men's honfes are falling, to 
e looking out for new lodgings. This tabernacle is rea- 
yto bediffolved : have yea building of God, not made 
nth hands, f ecu red to yourfelves ? God has given you 
ime and means for doing all this ; and if ye have not done 
t, then you have finned again ft the Lord, and a gain ft 
'our own fouls. 
Now, old tinners, if ye lay not to heart this warning, 
ad lay not yourklve* in the dull \>t£ott Qto^ foe ^vi* 


fins, then this new warning, among many others, wil 
a dreadful aggravation of your guilt. Confider your 
in lime, before it be too late. Are there not many 1 
were not born for many years after you, and who, it I 
he, are dead many years ago, and having wrought tl 
work, have got a blefled immortality ? yet, it may b< 
this day, ye know not what (hall become of your fo 
Think, old fniners, is it not a wonder that God has gi 
you this warning, after making light of fo many ; 
will it not be a cutting reflection, if ye fit a warning n 
the twelfth hour ? 

Now, children, young men, and fathers, old and you 
I have, by an appeal to your own conferences, made g 
my charge againft you, and fixed a great many partici 
fins upon you. 1 (hall now proceed, 

Fourthly, To (hew what JatisfatHon that J avert 
King $ at whole inftance, and in whofe name, 1 have 
pleaded you, requires of all and every one of you. \ 
julhice, at any rate, muft be fatisfied. It is not congru 
to reafon, it is not congruous to the holinefs, juftice, ; 
wiidom of the Lawgiver, that fin fhould efcape unpuniii 
and therefore it is impoflible it fhould pafs without i< 
fignal and fuitable mark of God's difpleafure. He has 
dared pofitively in his word, he lias confirmed it in 
providence, that " though hand join in hand, the wic 
ihall not go unpunifhed," Prov. ix. ai. If angels , 
men, fhould lay their hands and heads togrther, in 
their wit and their power, they (ball not preferve one 
from the marks of God's difpleafure. Some fignal and e 
dent token of it will reach fin, wherever it is. Th 
needs no proof of this, after what Cbrift has met wi 
And ye muft lay your account with it, that this pun: 
inent will not be fome petty inconfiderable one. It m 
be in fome meafure fuited to the crimes ye fland imple 
ed of. it muft, on the one hand, hold fome pro port 
to the holinefs and purity of that law, you have broke 
to the majefty and authority of that God whofe author 
ye have trampled upon $ yea, it m^ft hold fome prop 
tioii to the fevcral aggravations of your refpe&ive fi 
Lay your account with it, finners, you cannot efcape 
.1:1 ■«.'•.. who is every where : u Whether will ye go fr 
Li: :'v;; t .' whether will ye flee from his prefence ? If 


afcend np into heaven, he is there ; if ye make your bed in 
hell, behold he is there.; if ye take the wings of the morn- 
ing, and dwell in the uttermoft parts of the fea, even 
there fhall his hand lead thee, and his right-hand (hall 
hold thee. If ye fay, Surely the darknefs {hall cover yon, 
even the night lhall be light about you ; for the darknefs 
hideth not from him, but the night fhineth a* the d?y ; 
the darknefs and the light are both alike to him," Plal. 
exxxix. 7.— 12. There is no darknefs nor fhadow of death, 
where the workers of iniquity may hide themfelves, Job 
xxxiv. 22. from his eye, or fecure themfelves againfl the 
inquiry God will make, or the ftrokes that his almighty 
arm will inflicl. Punilhed then finners muft be. And if ye a Ik, 
what fatisfa&ion will he have of fuch finners ? 1 anfwer, 

1/?, He will have you punilhed in your eftates, by a 
forfeiture of all. You invaded God's pofleflion ; he will 
caft you out of yours. This is the ordinary puniihinent 
of rebellion ; and we have proven you guilty of rebellion 
of the worft fort. Man, when God made him, was maf- 
ter of a fair eftate. The fons of men now may value 
themfelves upon fome petty tenements which many of 
them hold by bo good right, as we fliall fee anon ; but 
none of them can vie poffeflions with Adam in innocency. 
He had a paradife repleniihed with all the rarities of inno- 
cent, of x uncorrupted nature, all the delicacies which the 
earth did yield, before it loft its ftrength by that curie 
which man's difobedience brought it nnder, while it was 
impregnated by the blefling of God ; and as he had this 
id poiTeflion, fo he had heaven in expectation, a noble, and 
ieemingly unfailing, profpeft of a paradife above. This 
was Adam's eftate ; and this mould have been the eftate 
of his pofterity, his defcendents : but all is forfeited by 
da. Had Adam flood, he had then transmitted to us a 
goodly heritage, and none fliould have had reafon to com- 
plain of his potfeflion : but now we have by fin forfeited 
til ; we have no eftate, no heritage. O finners ! by your 
fin ye have loft the right to all your enjoyments here, and 
all prof peel of any comfortable being hereafter. Adam 
when he finned, was banifhed out of paradife, and that was 
guarded again ft him* 

But ye will fay, We are not forfeited ; for we enjoy 
aoufes, lands, meat, and clothing, and fc^cttXiKWj ^\-Wt 


^o&'k ** 


fuch things : how. can ye then fay, that we loft all } ny 
what means get we thefc things ? I anfwer, (i.) A rebel 
fenienced to die is by the king allowed food, raiment, and 
other necefTaries, for the fiiftenance of nature, till the 
time of the execution come : juft fo God, for holy ends 
not now to be inquired into, having reprieved man for a 
while, luffers him to enjoy fome fuch things, till he fee 
meet to put the fentence of death in execution, and then 
the forfeiture will take place. (2.) We fay, ye hate 
no right to any enjoyment, fave that juft now mention- 
ed. The grant whereby innocent man held all his pof- 
it /Sons was the covenant of works: this was the ground 
of his fecurity as to what he pofltfled, and the foundation 
ef his hope as to what he further expeftcd. Now, this 
covenant being broken by your fur, ye have n© more right 
to any enjoyment. (3.). As ye have already loft the right 
and title, fo ye have loft the fweetnefs of all your enjoy- 
ments. Ye toil and fweat, but ye are not fatisfied : 
a What profit have ye of all y our labour under the fun r" 
It is not able to give you fatisfaclion. This we have at 
great length made appear in our lectures upon Ecclefmftes. 
(4.) To conclude, in a very little ye will be entirely de- 
prived of all. The day of the execution of the fentence 
draws on, when God will fnatch all your enjoyments out 
of your hands. Now, indeed, fome have more, and feme 
have lels, according to the pleafure of the great Judge^ 
who has allowed every one their portion, till the day of 
execution come, and then all will go. 

2<//y, God, at whofemftance ye have been impeached oi 
fin, will have fatisfaclion in the death of the offenders. 
God threatened death to Adam in paradife : u In the day that 
thoy eateft thereof thou (halt furely die," or u dying thou 
(halt die," Gen. ii. 17. and 4 * the foul that finneth (hall 
die," faith the Lord by the prophet, Ezek. xviii. 20. " for 
the wages of fin is death." This is not to be limited to a 
natural death ; no, but is of a huge extent. It takes in* a 
threefold death, a death fpiritoul, natural, and eternal. Mail 
in innocency had a threefold life, either in potfeffion or pro- 
fpea, (*•) A fplritval Ufe > which conftfted in the union of 
his foul to God, in a meafure fuited to his prefent condi- 
tion, and in fitnefs of all his faculties and powers for feeling 
jH)i) doing what was well-pleafing unto God. (a.) A na- 



tural life^ which confifted in the union of foul and body. 
That Lovely pair, his innocent foul and pure body, were 
matched together, and linked to one another, by a thought 
furpafling art; fo that they had a m oft near alliance, be- 
ing compacted into a perfon by a tie fo ftrong, as to occa- 
sion a notable fympathy; and yet fo fecret, that no eye 
could ever fee, no mind ever difcover, this imperceptible 
chain. (3.) Man had then a fair profpect of eternal life , in 
a full and clofe union to God, never to admit of any inter- 
ruption, or of any fuch interposition, as was between man 
and him in this lower world. But now upon his fin, he 
loft all by virtue of the primitive threatening of death 
to the foul that fins* Anfwerably hereunto, God will have 
you puniflied with a threefold death. O tinners! his heart 
will not pity you, his eye- will not fpareyou. You are alrea- 
dy condemned to die:. " He that believeth not," that is r 
every (inner by nature, '* is condemned already," fays the 
Spirit of God- Nay more, ye are not only condemned al- 
ready, O finners L but moreover the execuriou is begun : the 
fire of God's wrath is already kindled againftyou; there 
are feme drops begun to fall, before the ihower come that 
will entirely deftroy you.. [i_] You are fpiritnally dead. 
I fpeak to all of you who are not favingly changed by grace, 
being begotten again from the dead, by the refurreftion of 
Jefus Cbrift. You are dead in trefpatfes and fins,, utterly 
unmeet to entertain communion and fellowlhip with God. 
As a dead man cannot fpeak, ad, or exercife any vital pow- 
er; fo neither can ye act any thing that is fpirilually good , 
or well-pleafing to God. This is a heavy punifliment, tho' 
as yet ye be not fenfible of it. [2*] Natural death, that 
confifts in the reparation of the foul from the body, is 
already begun. Every difeafe that feizes upon our bodies 
is like the "ports that run to meet another,, to tell the king 
of Babylon that his city was taken at one end," Jer. li. 31. 
Every difeafe makes a breach in our walls, and telis that 
all will in a little fall down flat. Your very life is nothing 
tlfe but a fucceflion of dying: every day and hoar wears 
away part of it ; and fo far as it is already fpent, fo far are 
ye already dead and buried* Difeafes and natural decays 
do lay clofe fiege, as it were, to your bodies, routing their 
guards, battering the walls of your flefh, and forcing your 
£ou]&to quit the out- works, and retire mU>\VtW\\\ *a&. 

1 Z *nw 


every minute, ye have reafon to fear that ye may be taken 
if]y an J become a prey to death, In one word* O finners ! 
ye are the mark at which juftice {hoots its arrows. Do not 
ye fee fometimea the arrow flee over your head, and flay 
fome great perfon, your fuperior ? Sometimes it lights at 
your feet, and kills a child or a fervant, or thofe who are 
inferior ; fometimes it paffeth by your left-hand, and kills 
an enemy, at whofe death poflibly ye rejoice $ and anon it 
ft r ikes the friend; of your right-hand j and poffibly the 
very next arrow may ftrike you dead, be ye young or old r 
eternally dead, and hurry you into hell. 

3<//y, Your death will not do all ; this punijftimenfc 
reaches your honours. Rebels are wont to have their hon- 
ours torn : and fo God has determined with refped to you,, 
O Tinners ! Man was in his fir ft edate advanced to a high 
dignity, he was the friend as well as fubjeft Of God ; and 
he was his deputy in this lower world* as the Pfalmift tell* 
us : " Thou madeft him to have dominion over the works 
of thy hands ; thou had put all things under his feet, alt 
fheep and oxen, yea, and the beads of the field, the fowl of 
the air, and the fifli of the Tea," Pfal. viii. 5. — 8. Thus 
was he crowned with glory and honour r but now, O fin- 
ners ! the fentence is pad againft all the race of finful 
Adam : thus faith the Lord, Remove the diadem, and take 
off the crown from the head of finners. The crown is fal- 
len indeed from your head. Now, tell me, O finners ! da 
not you already feel the direful effects of this part of your 
punifhment ? Thefe beads which were once man's fubje&s, 
are now turned his enemies, beeaufe he is God's enemy* Do 
not the very flies infult you, and make fometimes your 
life uneafy ? Do not the wild beads of the field terrify you > 
Are hot fome of them daily making inroads upon- yon, 
devouring your cattle, carrying away your fubftance? Apd 
even thefe which are mod ferviceable, and feem to retam 
fomething of their refpeft to man, fometime their Lord* 
do they not rebel > Doth not the horfe fometimes throw 
his rider, the ox gore his owner ? Thus man has loll bis 
honour ; nay, now he who once did reign is become fin's 
flave, and thereby falls under the lames of fin and Satan's 
(laves. This, O finners ! is a part of your pun i foment. 

4M/y, This will not fatisfy judice. God ptirfuesthe quar- 
rel to posterity : " I am a jealotis God/' {ays he, in a 


hrea tening annexed to the third command, " vifiting the 
niquity of the fathers upon the children." Rebel's chil- 
dren fuffer with their fathers in all nations * and (hall not 
rebellion againft God be asfeverely punifhed as that which 
s again ft an earthly fovereign } If an Achan (teal a Baby- 
honiih garment^ and fin againft the God of Ifrael, then he 
ind his whole family (Ira 11 fall, man, wife, and child ; nay, 
md the very ho ufe ho Id-fluff, his ox and his afles. God 
drill purfue the quarrel to a dreadful length. You may fee 
:his terrible tragedy defer ibed by God, in Jofliua vii. 24. 
God will fpare nothing that finners have ufed. Becaufe 
[inners have trode upon this earth, it mud undergo the 
fire at the lad day, before it can be freed from the bondage 
of corruption. O (inners, ye tranfmit a fad legacy te 
your wretched pofterity I a legacy of which the diftrefled 
church, Lam. v. 7. heavily complains: * 4 Otir fathers 
have finned and are not, and we have borne their iniquities." 

Sthly, Once more : God purfties his quarrtl yet further. 
He will have your names eternally ruined. u The memo- 
ry of the wicked (hall ret," Prov. x. 7. After he has 
killed your bodies, and fouls, and children, and ruined 
your eftates, then he will kill your names, that there (hall 
no remembrance of you be upon the earth, untefs it be the 
flench Of a rotten name. Thus will the Lord deal with 
you O finners ! The whirl-wind of the Lord, that goes 
forth with fury, will blow away all your enjoyments, 
turn you out of all your pofleffions. The Lord will ban- 
i(h you his prefence. That almighty arm that ft retched 
out the heavens, will tear your fouls from your bodies, 
and throw you head-long into perdition : the weight of in- 
finite wrath will fink you down into the bottomlefs pit; 
and Omnipotence will dig a grave for your memory, where- 
in it Will eternally rot. For thegreatnefs of your ini- 
quity ye may expect this : u This is thy lot, the portion 
Of thy reeafure from me, faith the Lord, becaufe thou had 
forgotten me, and trufted in falfehood," Jer. xiii. 25. 
This is the fatisfadion God requires: and think on it ; 
this way Will he be glorified in your ruin, if ye continue 
in your fins. 

I have at fome length proved yon all to be offenders, 
that God demands a reparation ; and what that reparation 
>*> which lie doth demand of his in)ttttd tafwxt ^ \W?* *x 


Come length made appear ; I now proceed, according to 

the method propofed, 

Fifthly, To demon/irate the reafonablenefs of this de« 
Viand. I have (hewn your ways to be mod unequal •* 
now I come to iliew, that God's ways are moft equal,, 
a id that he acls very reafonably in demanding (o high t 
a. id this will appear to the con virion of the mod obflinate 
(inner, if the confiderations we offer for clearing this be. 
duly weighed. And, 

i/i, L?t it be eonudered, That Jin deferves fuch apuni/h- 
tntnt ; and therefore it is very juft to inflid it. Nay, I 
might perhaps run this a little higher, and aflerr, that 
therefore it would be unjuft to require any lefs, any 
more eafy punifhment. That fin deferves it t is very plain,, 
if weconfider, 

i. Agaiiijl whom it fir ikes. This is the way of mea Cur- 
ing otTcncds agreed to all the world over, that the meafure 
ihould be taken from the confideration of thofe againfb 
whom they ftrike. , This we may obferve in the laws of 
God, which enjoin that offences ilia 11 be punifhed accordr 
ing to the quality and condition of the offenders, and the 
offended. The daughter of the high-prieft, if (he conv 
mitted uncleannefa, was to be burned without mercy, Lev*. 
xxi. 9. fo was not every one who was guilty in that way*. 
Again, he that curfeth his father and mother is adjudged 
to die, Lev. xx. 9,; fo was not he that curfeth his equal. 
The fame meafure is kept in our laws: if one kills his 
equal, then, he dies ; but there doth not thereby redound 
any injury to his posterity ; but if a man kills the king, v 
or makes any attempt a gain ft the government, then lifej* 
lands, name, and all goes. Now, if we confider in this 
cafe the quality of the offender* a poor mean worm,, that 
dwells in a cottage of clay, that has his foundation in the 
dud, that is crufred before the moth, that holds all qf 
God ; and then, on the other band, confider him who is 
offended by every fin, not a prince or foine great man, 
who is but flew, and blood at the beft, but u the high and 
lofty one that inhabits eternity, he who is the great God, 
and a great King, above all the earth : behold, the nations 
are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the fmall 
dufl of the balance: behold, he taketh up the ifles as a 
very little thing 5 and Lebanon is not fufficient to burn, 


nor the beafb thereof fofficient for a burnt -offering. All 
nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted 
to him left than nothing, and vanity." To u horn then 
will ye liken God ? or what likenefs will ye compare unto 
him? There is no proportion here. Now, if it dtierve 
fo fevere a ponilhrnent that is committed againft man, what 
mud it not deferve that is committed againft this God ? 
As it were injurious to compare God to man ; fo it is inju- 
rious to compare the demerit of any offence committed 
againft man, and the demerit of that which is committed 
againft the great God. 

2. Confider the damage that fin doth ; and then we will 
lee what fin deferves : we will fee that the terrible punilh- 
ment we have been difcourfiiig of, is nothing too ferere. 
If we confider man with refpect to the creatures that are 
under him, the inanimate part of the creation, and the 
brutes ; he was appointed to be their mouth, by which 
they fliould pay homage to their Creator; he was to be 
their treafurer, to pay in a revenue of glory for them to 
their Creator ancl Governor : but man by fin puts himfelf 
out of all capacity for this ; he lays an ill example before 
his fellow-creatures. But all this is nothing, when com* 
?ftr*d with the* 'fnjury he doth to God by every fin. This, 
if thoroughly and weW utiderftood, would for ever clear 
tht jufticfiflf God in puniihingfin with eternal punifhment. 
Trtie if is?, indeed, what Elihtt fays, " If thou flnneft, 
what dtfft thou againft him ? of if thy tranfgrefiion be mul- 
tiplied, what doft thou onto liirii ?" Job xxxv. 6.; that 
is" to fay, God lies beyond our 'reach j we cannot by our 
fins detract from, as neither cdn We by our holiness add to 
his baprJinefs i but this h no proof that we do him no in- 
jury. A rebel clapt up in pfifon* or in the hand of the 
king's guards, is not able to reach the prince's peffon, nor 
render him diflalisfled % yet he may then injure him, and 
doth if* Wheri he unjultly reflects upon his government. 
Juft fo it is with finnerst Indeed they cannot fcale the 
wills of heaven, they are not able to- climb over the eter- 
nal ramparts, which raife the fence of the Alrnighfy'3 fa- 
cred throne, and there flab his perfon ; but yet they in- 
jure him in hia name and honour* and even in his life, by 
every fin : it is intended murder ; and this is death Vy the 
laws of God And iwan. That anion ^ men \\ 1* tuft *V*vs* 


puniflied fo, is only becaufe it is not always difcoverd ; for 
when it is difcovered by words, or overt though iuerTecl- 
u a I aft ions, it is puniflied. Every fin fpits upon God'a 
holinefs, tramples upon his authority, brands his wtfdom 
with folly, denies his goodnefs, and braves and giyes a 
defiance to his power: what punifhment then can be too 
great for this ? Now fure, 

3. Sin deferves it, if we confider the obligations that are 
by every fin trampled upon. Every one will own, that the 
lins of children againft their parents, of fervants again ft 
their matters, of fubje&s againft their lord, and the wives 
againft their hufbands, are fins of a black hue, a crimfon 
dye, and deftrve therefore a very ferere ptinifhment ; and 
accordingly are fo puniflied in all nations : but all thofe 
obligations are none to what we all lie under to God; fo 
that there is more perfidy, falfebood, and treachery, in 
all our fins againft God, than in any of thofe: therefore 
it is but juft that there fhould be a proportion kept betwixt 
the offences and the punifhment. 

4. That fin deferves fuch a punifhment, is the judgment 
of God; and we know that his judgment is always accord- 
ing to truth. It is not the miftaken notion of a man, who 
in the rood momentous truths may trip ; but it is. the 
judgment of the only wife God, who is a God of knowl- 
edge, by whom actions are weighed. I think we need not 
go fo far back at prefent for. a proof of this, as the penal 
fancVion of the law, fo long as we have the death of Chrift 
as an evidence of it, nearer hand. If an infinite perfon, 
(landing in the fin ner's room, muft, for his fins, have 
fuch a load of wrath laid upon him, what lefs muft the 
punifhment of the finner hirafelf be than eternal wrath ? 
None can pretend to believe the truth of the gofpel, and 
queftion the juftice of God in punifhing finner 3 eternally * 
for is it not ridiculous to admire divine fevehty in the 
eternal punifhment of wicked men, and not to attend to 
Infinite Juftice punifhing feverely his own beloved Son? 
What wonder is it that wicked men fhould be for ever 
tormented for their own fins, if the meft righteous Son of 
God fuffered for the fins of others ) He that, without a 
reproach to his goodnefs, could endure his meft dear Son 
to fuffer fo long as one hour, will much better endure un« 

jufl finners to be tormented with eternal punifhment. 

5, TV* 


5. That fin deferves fuch a punifhment, is not only the 
jadgraent of God, but of men too. The common reafon of- 
mankiud f peaks its juftice. This appears by the fenti- 
ments the heathens had of this matter. They had not a 
revelation to guide them, and therefore had wild fancies 
about the manner of thefe puniihmeuts, which they judg- 
ed to be eternal; but that there were fuch punifoments, 
and that they 'werejnft, they had no doubt. Hence it was 
that their poets did condemn Tantalus to fuch a place, 
where he fhould have rivers juft wattling up to his lip, 
and yet fhould not be able to drink of them ; and fo re- 
aiain eternally under the violence of thirft, with this 
gnawing aggravation, that he had waters juft at his very 
lip. But we may yet have more clear proof of the judg- 
ments of men in all nations, in their fancVions of human 
laws* Do not all of them for crimes, condemn to perpe- 
tual imprisonment, or to death? The one is an eternal 
pun i foment of lots of life, and all its concomitant advan- 
tages ; and this puni foment is infii&ed without refpeel to 
a future life; as appears in this, that fuch laws are exe- 
cuted upon them, of whom none has reafon to think that 
they (hall hare any mare in the advantages of a future 
life. And that perpetual imprifonment is not eternal im- 
prisonment, is not becaufe that it is thought unjufl, but be- 
caufe neither the law-makers, who put it into execution, 
nor they who break it, live to eternity. 

6. That fin deferves eternal punifoment, appears from 
the acknowledgement of the punifhed. This is a very flrong 
argument * for although they who are yet wallowing in 
their fins, and are lulled faftafleep in the lap of carnal fe- 
curity, will not acknowledge fo much ; yet jf we inquire 
at thofe whom God has awakened, and to whom he has 
given a difcovery of the exceeding finfulnefs of their fin, 
whether with a profpecl of mercy or not, they will all 
with one mouth acknowledge that fin deferves eternal 
wrath. Thofe whom the Lord deals with, in order to 
their convtrfion, will all fubferibe to the juftice of God, 
fhould he damn them eternally. I do not fay that they 
will be content to be damned; but they will own that 
God were moft juft fhould he deal fo by them. And not 
only is it fo with them, but even with thofe -who vc* fca^ 
to the vtmoft in biack defpair. \l vst Y\tetk\o*S*Y«** 


who has laid afide all hopes of mercy, we (hall hear him 
crying out in the angtiilh of his foul one day, u lam feal- 
ed up to eternal w«;ath : I tell you 1 deferve it ; my own 
conference condemns me, what needeth any other judge ?'* 
and another day, again, we hear him crying out, u Though 
there were not another damned, yet God is juft in making 
me an exampU to others ; and I cannot juftly complain.- 
Tnere is no puuilhment fo great bnt 1 have juftly deferr- 
ed it." Thefc confiderations do fufScieutly evince, that 
(in deferves eternal punifliment ; and therefore God has 
good reafon to demand it. 

"2*//y, Our j-reht L*rd and Matter rae great reafon to 
punifh you with fuch paniihment, not on 1) becanfe your 
offences dtjtrve it, but becaufe&s in the infiitut ion and pro- 
mulgation of his laws, did actually declare that he would fo 
punijh thd tranfgreffors of it. Sin and eternal paniihment 
weie then linked together- With the very fame breath 
that God laid to Adam, thou malt keep my command- 
ments, he alfo faid to him, " In the day thou breakeft 
them, fiou (halt (urely die." That the annihilation of 
his foul ihould be there intended, is contrary to fcripturc, 
and has no ground in reafon ; and if only temporal death 
is meant, then this would be implied, to fay, Thou ihalt 
be rewaided with eternal life if thou fin ; which were ri- 
diculous to imagine. That therefore which is intended is 
certainly etrrnal de-ath. And God having annexed this pen- 
alty to the violation of his law, there is great reafon that 
it mould be punctually executed. For, 

1. The honour of his wifdom requires it. To what ptir- 
pofe fliould this penalty be annexed, if it were not on de- 
fign that it ihould be put in execution? or at leaft it 
would reflect upon his wifdom, if it might not with great 
reafon be put in execution. 

2. Jufice to his honour ^ as he is the righteous Judge of 
the earti!, calls for the execution of this law. What, I 
pray, is the bufinefs of one placed in that high flat ion, if 
not to fee laws executed, to fee the compilers with them 
rewarded, and the offenders condignly punilhed ? 

3. Juflice to the law requires the punifliment of fmners : 
for if the law in one part may be neglected, why not in 
all ? The threatening, as well as the precept, has upon it 

the imprefs of the fu prtrac authority \ «\d therefore, as 



by this violation of the precept, fo by. the non-execution 
of the penalty, the honour of the law differs. If the pen- 
alty be. required, then the honour of the precept i* re- 
paired ; but if the penalty be neglecleJ, then the law is 
. entirely affronted, and there is no reparation ; than which 
there can be nothing more unreafonabJe. 

4. Juflice to on*lookers. To neglefi the punishment of 
offenders, is of a dangerous influence to beholders ; it be- 
trays them into one of two or three dangerous miftakes ; 
it has a tendency either to make them entertain light ap- 
prenfiom of fin, or elfe to make them ca'.l in queftion, ei- 
ther the knowledge, power, or wifdom of God, and his 
zeal for his own glory : therefore juftice to them requires 
that the penal fan&ion of the law be vigoroufly put in ex- 

£. Juftice* to God's faithfulmfs. The honour of the di- 
"vine veracity requires it. God engaged his faithful word 
for the aecomplifhment of the threatening; therefore, ei- 
ther the truth of God mud lie open to fafpicion, or elfe 
ihe puuifhment mud be in flirted upon you. 

6. To more considerations under this head ; by 
annexing eternal punijhment to the commiffion of fin, all 
the divine attributes were engaged to fee it executed. Of 
the juftice, wifdom, and fovereignty of God, it has alrea- 
dy been made appear ; and it might with equal facility 
be evinced, as to the unchangeablenefs of God, his good- 
nefs, power, and knowledge 1 therefore he has reafon to 
demand fo high a fatisfadion. 

34fyf Sin not only deferves that heavy and eternal pun* 
ifhment we have been difcourfing of, and not only has 
God adjudged, by an irreverfible appointment, that it 
fhould be fo punifhed ; but we fay, moreover, that God , 
kasjuft reafon to inflift if, becaufe this appointment of God, w 
* Jinking fin and punifhment together, is mod juft and 
equal. This puts it beyond all rational doubt, that God 
has reafon to treat you as he will do. Now, the juflice 
of this penal fan&ion, I fhall open to you in feveral con- 
fident k> us. And, 

Z. This is plain from that which we have at great 
length difcourfed of already, in reference to the demerit 
of fin. We have proved, by many inconteftvbU t*\to&» 
ces, that fin defervea the higheft puxufl&mttkX tiaax wfc \>* 


inflated. Now, juft authority can. never be but juft, in 
puni filing a crime, or annexing a penalty to it, that is 
proportioned to its own nature ; and this is plainly the 
cafe here. 

2. God has made thisfanition ; therefore it is juft. This, 
I think, needs no proof, the Judge of all the earth cannot 
do wrong, he is a God of truth, and without iniquity. Our 
ways may be unequal, his can never be fo ; for were God 
unrighteous, u how could he then judge the World?'' 
fays the apoftle, Rom. iii. 6. His will is the meafure of 
juftice to us : " He doth according to his will in the 
army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth ; 
and none can fay to him, What doft thou V 7 Dan. iv. 35. 
If once we quit the will of God for theftandard and tnea» 
fure of juftice, then we wander and lofe ourfelvcs, and 
are never like to find any other thing t bat can with -any 
fliadow of reafon pretend to the place. 

3. This appointment of God is moft juft, becaufe it Was 
made in way of a contract. There was a covenant between 
God and Adam. God did propofe the whole matter to 
him ; and the fubftance of it was this, Do, and live; Sin, 
ami die. Man was content, and that upon deliberation-, 
with the terms ; and therefore the juftice of God is clear 
in this matter. 

4. God did warn man bt fore-hand of this punifttmerit t 
and therefore he is very juft in the matter ; which will 
appear very plain if we obferve, that as. man is nn- 
queftionably obliged to obey God, fo God has an un* 
queftionable right to command ; and that not only Upon 
account of his fuper-eminent excellency, but on account 
of his creation, preservation, and innumerable benefits? 
therefore h» commanding to man what is juft and equal, 
may do it upon what penalty he pleafes, without afty 
fhadow of injuftice ; as 1 (hall make appear by this plain 
and familiar inftance: I fuppofe the lord of a manor to 
have placed or made a precipice in fome part of his land, 
and that he forbids his fervant to go there, and tells hiity 
if he do, he will be fure to fall there and be killed : Who 
would 4ay that he were guiky of that fervaitt's death, if 
the fervant fhould go there ? And I fay, God can with 
as little juftice be charged with the death of Tinners, or 
trith [evcrity, finCe he gives item fair warning. They 


cfcufe damnation, and their destruction is of. t hem fe Ives. 
This was perfe&ly the cafe of man at firfc ; and that af- 
terwards he fell under a fatal inability to abitain from fin, 
no more clears him, or makes God faulty, than it would 
clear the fervant formerly mentioned, or make his matter 
blame-worthy, if the way to that precipice lay ftooping 
downward, and the fervant fhould, upon the beginning 
of the defcent, run with fo full a career, that he were 
not able to halt till he had broke his neck. This. I fup- 
pofe would not reflect upon the mailer, that he did not 
remove that precipice, or alter the way. And this is the 
cafe between God and man. 

5. Confider the influence that this penal fanttion has up* 
on them that are favcd $ and wherein we may fee that God 
was mod juft in appointing it. It is the means to bring 
them to heaven. It moves rai'nifters to preach : " Know- 
ing the terrors of the Lord, we perfuade men," 1 Cor. 
v. zi. And it moves the hearers to accept of falvation, 
as appears from the frequent ufe our Lord makes of this 
argument. And in the original coaftitution of the law, 
it was defigned as a mean, not only for the reparation of 
its violated honour, but alfo to deter men from breaking 
the law : therefore God is mod juft in the whole of his 
condqetia this matter ; fince the greater the penalty was, 
the more likely a mean it was to hold men in the way. 

6. I thought to have further cleared the equity of this 
appointment of God, whereby fin is ordained thus to 
be punifbed, from the confideration of the neceffity thereof, 
in order to the government of the world. If men have yet 
fuch boldnefs to fin, notwithstanding the feverity of thefe 
punifhments, what would they have done, if there had been 
only fome light temporary puniihment to be inflicted > This 
confideration would lead me too far from the fubjedl in 
hand ; therefore I but name it, and proceed to the 

Sixth and last general, which I propofed for the 
iraprovment of this doctrine. I have unfolded, at fome 
length, the crime charged upon you. I have proved, both 
in general and in particular, that ye have finned, and 
thereby comefhort of the glory of God. I have Shewed what 
the fatisfacVion is which juftice requires. I have likewife 
made appear, and have given you iome account, how rea- 
sonable it is that juftice ihould carry iu dtmuevtata \C\^eu 


It remains now, that we fhortly reprefent your tnifer) 
from the whole. But here indeed I am at a lofs how t< 
begin ; and if once I begin, (hall find roylelf at no Ufs i 
ftrait where to end. Sinners I have proved you ; an< 
mtferable I ihall now endeavour to reprefent you, upoi 
this account. 

i/?, If a vaft lofs can make you mifcrable* then indee< 
ye ihall be fo. Your lofs can be imagined by none, bu 
thofe who enjoy the advantages you lofe, or thofe whi 
are already in the place of torirent t and have their eye 
opened to fee their own condition. It is fuch a lofs, tha 
you cannot from one place have a full profpecl of it, 
mean of that little portion of it which may be knowi 
without feeling : and therefore we ihall give you torn 
different views of it, as it were from diftinel places, a 
each of which ye may fee fome, and but fome fmaH par 
uf it. 

z. (fay your lofs (halt be great i for ye fliafl lofe th 
world with all its comforts, delight s % and fattsfaHions. Ax 
ye now pofletfed of a competent eftate, a flouriibrng fami 
ly, health of body, content of mind, and a fair ftock o 
reputation ? Ye (ball lofe all thefe things ; and will no 
this be a vaft lofs to you ? Are not thefe the things tha 
bound your defires, and terminate all your wifhts and in 
quirics-?- I fear they are fa tomoft of you. They wh< 
have their portion only in this life, feek no more bu 
thefe things. Alt the queftion with fuch is, u Who- wil 
/hew us any good ? M any worldly good ; and if they loi 
thefe things, then indeed they lofe all. They may fa; 
their gods are taken away ; and what have they more 
Whatever is defirable to the eyes, or pleafant to any o 
your fenfea, ye ihall at once for ever and eternally b 
deprived of. And is not this a vaft lofs ? Since it tnu! 
be fo in' many of your eyes, ye ihall lofe that wTiic 
ye valued above? heaven and Chrift.- It may be, fom 
of you cleave fo faft to a prefent world, that neiihtr th 
promifes nor the threats of the gofptl can induce yo 
to quit your hold : yet, notwithflanding of all your er 
deavours to keep them, ye ihall lofe them all. Death wil 
part you and them : and O how great will this lofs be t 
you who have no more 2 
^ 2, When Godpunifhes you, ye will fuftaia the loft t 



the go/pel, which now ye enjoy : and this will appear to 
be a vaft iofs then. The gofpel has in it treafures for the 
poor, eyes for the blind, feet for the lame, understanding 
for. the fimple, peace for rebel?, pardons for condemned 
malefactors, a title to heaveii for the heirs of hell, life for 
the dead, happinefs for the miferable : and to lofe all tbefe, 
what lofs can be comparable to this? This lofs, when it 11 
now fpoken of, may appear final I to you : but the day is 
coming, when ye will learn to put a high value upon it, 
after ye have loft it. 

3. Ye will fuftain a vaft lofs 5 for infallibly ye lofe hea* 
ven, if ye continue in your fins : and who can tell what 
a lofs this is > Who can found the depth of tbefe " rivers 
of pleafure that are at God's right-hand for evermore." 
Who can weigh that u far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory ?" Who can take the diinenfipns of that 
?aft " inheritance of the faints in light?" Who can de- 
clare the fweetnefs of the fruits of that paradife of plea- 
fure ? What eye can difcern or let in juft apprehenfions 
of that blifs-giving fight, which the faints enjoy above, 
where there are no clouds to obfenre the face of their Iky ? 
Well 9 whatever there is of thefe things, all tbefe ye lofe. 
O immenfe lofs indeed ! 

We only name thefe things, defigning now to turn to 
another fubjea. Would ye know how great a lofs ye fuf- 
tain in the firft inftance mentioned ? We may fend you to 
thofe who are wallowing in the delights of the fons of 
•men, and who are glutting them ft Ives with a prefent 
•world. They will tell you ftrange things of your lofs by 
the removal of worldly comforts. If ye would under- 
ftand how great your lofs. is by the removal of the gofpel, 
.go to thofe who have got a heart to embrace it, and they 
will give you a furprifing account of their enjoyments by 
it. But who can tell what heaven is ) they only who 
.have been there ; and even fcarce they ; for furely they 
feel, they enjoy more than what can be expreffed. Now, 
all thefe things ye lofe. But need 1 fay more ? Ye lofe 
God ; ye lofe your own fouls ; and if ye lofe your own 
fouls, and gain the world, what profit have ye ? yea, ye 
fuftain a vaft lofs : what rouft then your lofs be, when ye 
not only lofe your own fouls, but lofe with tlv*m^\>\Aii»x \* 


in this world, all that U good and comfortable iu that 

which is to come ? 

zdfyj As ye i uftain a great lofs, fo ye muft fuffcr a vafi 
torment. The former particular, viz. the punifhment o( 
lofs, I did only touch at, becaufe I had occafion, in the 
doctrinal part, to difcourfe a little of it : but here, when 
1 come to fpeak of the punifhment of fenfe, I iball be a 
little more large, yet fo as not to exceed the bounds of 
this day's difcourfe. O fmners ! miserable are ye, if huge, 
vaft, and intolerable torment can make you fo. A view 
of your mifery upon this account, 1 lhall give you in a 
very few particulars. 

i. If ye would underftand what your cafe is eternally 
to be, ye muft confider what of you it is that is to be ettr* 
nally tormented. Our Lord tells us of both foul and bo* 
dy as being diftroyed in hell, Matth. x. 28. " Fear not 
them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the fool ; 
but rather fear him who h able to deftroy both foal and 
body in hell." And this gives us to underftaad what is to 
be the fubjedt of thefe torments tinners are to fuftain. It 
is not a finger or a toe ; it is not a tooth or a joint : no* 
but it is the whole man, foul and body, that are to be tor* 
men ted. And how will ye be able to endure this? If a 
drop of fcalding water fall upon your hand, ye are ready 
to cry out of intolerable pain : but how will ye then bear 
ir, when a full fliower of brim (lone, a deluge of burning 
wrath, will fall upon the^whole man > Ye are not now 
able t/> hold your finger to the fire ; how will you then en- 
dure, when foul and body (hall be cad alive into devour- 
ing fire and everlafting burnings r If now the trouble of 
one part of the body occafion fo terrible diforder, what 
will your cafe oe, when every faculty of your fouls, eve. 
ry member, every joint, finew$ aad artery of your body, 
Jhall be brim-full of wrath ? 

2. Confider, who is the contriver of theje torments. 
There have been fome very exquifite torments contrived 
by the wit of men, tke naming of which, if ye underftood 
their nature, were enough to fill your hearts with hor- 
ror : but all thefe fall as far fhort of the torments ye are 
to endare, as the wifdom of man falls fhort of that of God, 
Who is " wife, and will bring evil," I fa, xxxi. 2* Infinite 
wJfdotn bus contrived that evil, thefe torments, which 



are to be the eternal portion of all impenitent finners. If 
man can find put a rack, a grid-iron, a furnace, heated 
feven times, for tormenting fuch as he has a mind to pun. 
ifh ; what (hall we conceive to be the inventions of infinite 
wifdom, when it is fet on work to contrive a punifiimeut 
for finners ? Wifdom, infinite wifdom, well knows the 
frame both of foul and body ; it knows what faculty of 
the one or the other are of moft exquifite fenfe, and what 
torments can work upon them. God ihews himfelf wife, 
not only in bringing evil upon tinners, but in contriving 
it, fo that it (hall furpafs what creatures can inflic"*. 

3. Confider, who is the inflifter of thefs torments 3 and 
this will give us a ftrange profpect of the mifery of thofe 
who fall uqder them. It is God, by his own immediate 
hand* And from this the apoftle reprefents the mifery of 
fuch, who (hall fall under this punifbment : " For we 
know him that hath faid, Vengeance belongeth unto me, 
and I will recompense, faith the Lord: and again, The 
Lord fliall judge his people. Jt is a fearful thing to fall 
into the hands of the living God," Heb. x. 30, 3 1. 
Should God but give a commiffion to fome creature to tor* 
ment us, if it were but a flea to leap into the eye, and 
there to abide, how great would this torment be] But 
much mere terrible would your cafe be, if God fbould fet 
his wifdom a-work to find out and invent what mixture 
of torments from creatures would be mod exquifite, and 
then inflict thefeopon you : this could not but make your 
cafe miferable ; fincc the nature of man iexapable to receive 
comfort or difquietment from every creature ; and God 
knows* not only our frame and make, but that of all the 
other creatures ; and therefore underflands what might 
contribute moil to our difquiet and torment. Should 
God deal thus, it would make very exquifite torments in- 
deed ; but all this were nothing to his own immediate 
hand and power. His little finger is more terrible than 
the united power of all the creatures. As there is no 
Searching out of his under/landing, fo there is no fearcb- 
iftg out of his power, who is the infiiaer, the author of the 
eternal torments of finners, u who fliall be puniflied with 
cverlafling definition from the pre fence of the Lord, and 
from the glory of his power," a Theft", i. 9. Vkrt. oi \.\C\a> 
ttore won, 

4« CwE&&ct> 


4. ConGder, what it is that engages infinite power y , 
ftts on infinite wi J dom s and this will give you yet a m 
terrible reprefentatiou of your mifery. If it were o 
juftice, we might expeQ that there might poflibly be f< 
abatement made; but it is anger, fury, the height of fu 
that fets wifdom a-work to contrive, and power on w 
to effe& your mifery; and therefore miferable ye mnl 
neceflhy be, beyond thought or expreflion. A remark, 
fcripture to this purpofe we have in Nahnm i. 2.- 
God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth % the Lord rev 
peth, and is furious ; the Lord will take vengeance on 
adverfaries, and he referveth wrath for his enemies. ' 
Lord is flow to anger, and great in power, and will not at 
acquit the wicked. The Lord hath his way in the whirlw 
and in theftorm, and the clouds are the dud of his feet, 
rebuketh thefea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all 
rivers. Bafhan languifheth, and Carmel,and theflowe 
Lebanon languiflieth. The mountains quake at him, and 
hills melt, and the earth is burnt at his prefencc ; yea, 
world, and all that dwell therein. Who can ft and 
fore his indignation > and who can abide in the*fiercei 
of his anger ? His fury is poured out like fire, and 
rocks are thrown down by him." This is a fcriptur 
very remarkable, that we cannot pafs it, without oi 
ing you a few obfervations for clearing it a little. A 
(i.)T Here ye may fee the certainty of Turners being pun 
ed. If ever ye efcape who continue in your fins, it r. 
either be, becaufe God will not, or becaufe he is not ; 
to puniih you : but here ye fee, that he is both able 
willing, ver. 2. " The Lord is great in power r and 
jiot at all acquit the wicked.' 9 By no means will he 
them go who continue in their impenitency. (2.) Y< 
what the punifhment of the wicked is : " He will 1 
vengeance on his adverfaries, and he referveth wrath 
his enemies." It is exprefled by vengeance and by wr 
It is a punifhment that is the effeft of wrath and revei 
and is to be continued by wrath that is kept in referve 
that purpofe. (3.) Ye have that vtfuch is the infliae 
this punifhment ; it is the great power of Gcd. 
Here ye have that which fets this power on work to j 
jfh the wicked : it is jealoufy * ". Now, jealoufy is 
rage of man/ 9 Prov. vi. 34. and itaAoufy itvGod is 



rage of God. (5.) Here you fee the awful effefls of this 
rage of God : " The Lord revengeth, l he Lord reven- 
geth." The expreflions being doubled, intends the figni- 
fication, and fliows the certainty of it. (6.) To repre- 
fent, if poflible, the terriblenefs of th*i3 revengr, in a yet 
more lively manner, it is added, u The Lord revengeth. 
and is furious." (7.) The rerriblencfs of this appearance 
of God againft finners, is further declared by a description 
of God's power, defcribed in itsefTefts upon the inanimate 
creatures; as if he had faid, look how terrible the cafe 
of finners is like to be, when God begins to take vengeauce 
on them, aad to revenge himfelf by that power, which by* 
a rebuke drieth up the fea and the rivers, that makes 
Baftian and Carmel to languiili, that melts the hills, and 
makes the earth to quake. The power of God was put 
forth 111 a very remarkable manner, in creating the world, 
but is exerted in a more remarkable manner, in punifhing 
the wicked : herein is his power, even the glory of hit 
power,- man ife fled ; for ye are to be puniihed u with 
everlafting deftrudtion from the glory of hi3 power." The ' 
power of man produces greater effects, when anger and 
fury make him ft rain, as it were, every finew and nerve, 
than when he is cool, and in a fedate compofed frame : a 
Samfon in fnch a cafe pulled down the pillars of the 
houfe. What ihall we then conceive will be the effedls of 
God's power, when the heat of anger and fierce indigna- 
tion and fury excites and alts it ? May I not conclude 
this confideration with that of the prophet in the 6th ' 
verfe, u Who can {land before his indignation, and who * 
can abide in the fierceuefs of his anger \ His fury is poured 
out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him." 

3<tfy, As your lofs is great, and the punilhnient ye are 
to undergo great, fo both thefe will come upon yon in one 
day i and this is a terrible aggravation of your mifery. In 
a moment all the enjoyments of earth, all the gofpel-pri- 
vileges, arid all the hopes of future blifs, which impeni- 
tent finners have, will vanifh; and then, even then, at 
that very in (taut, witwGod appear, with his face full of 
frowns, his heart full of fury, his hand full of power, and 
all directed towards finners. It is remarkable, in the fen- 
tence at the 1 aft day, that with the fame breaWs * v ^^ 
very hme in (lane they arc bid depart Goo?& vetfo^*% 


Matth. xxv. 41. they are Iikcwife fent to everlafting 


4thly y As both will come at once, fo they both will 
come Juddenly andfurprifingly. This extremely increafes 
your mifery. Sudden deftrucVion, and furprifing deftrnc- 
tion, is, on that very account, double dcftruftion. It 
may be faid, that your damnation lingereth not, 2 Pet. 
ii. 4. As Chrift comes quickly, Rev. xxii. 20. fo he 
comes u in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that 
know not God, and obey not the Gofpel," 2 Thef. u 8. 
It is fudden, becaufe it comes at a time when it is not ex- 
peeled. Many of you poffibly may be putting the evil day 
far away ; and yet ye cannot tell hew near it may be to 
fome of you. Who can tell but fome who this day are 
here in God's prefence, may be in the pit before next Sab- 
bath ? But whether it be fo or not, we are Aire it is not 
long to the time when all you who remain impenitent {hall 
be fent down to the fides of the pit. It is fudden alfo, be- 
caufe ufually thia ruin comes when the quite contrary is 
cxpecled ; when " they fay* peace, peace, then fudden 
destruction," Thef. v. 3. When the fool was finging a 
requiem to his own foul for many years, then that very 
night all this mifery comes upon him, Luke xii. 20. And 
this was a great aggravation of bis mifery. A blow giv- 
en when the contrary is expected, is doubly dunning. 

. 5tMy 9 As all thefe things* all thefe loiTes, all the tor- 
ments we have been fpeaking of, come fuddenly and at 
once, fo they all are inevitable* Impenitent finners can-* 
sot by any means efcape them. For, 

i. God has engaged that finners ihall be puniihed. He 
will not at all acquit the wicked. He has parted his word 
upon it, he u f wears in his wrath, that impenient finners 
fhall not enter into his reft," Heb. iii. 18. Therefore they 
may expect that he will be as good as his word. 

2« God cannot change: there is no u variablenefs nor 
flaadow of turning with him," Jam. i. 17. He continues 
unalterably the fame: "I am the Lord, I change not ; 
therefore the fon* of Jacob are not {BjnfumedV' MaL iii. 6. 
There is the clear fide of the cloud to his own people ; 
and, upon the other hand, it may be inferred, " I am 
the Lord, I change not ;" therefore ye who have con- 
tmued impenitent Ihall be turned into hell* 


3. Ye are not able to ward off the blow. The apoftle 
obferves, " That the fooliflinefs of God is wifer than 
man, and the weaknefs of God is ftronger than man," 
1 Cor. i. 25. The weakeft effort of God againft man is 
enough utterly to ruin him: u Lo, at the rebuke of his 
countenance we perifli," Pfal. lxxx. 16. He can loak on one 
" that is proud, and abafe him ;" and his eye cafts about 
rage and dcftru&ion, Job xl. 11.— 13. If a look can ruin 
us, much more the breath of his noftrils : s " By the breath 
of his noftrils we are confumed, and by the blaft of him 
we perifh," Job iv.9. Now, if ye be not able to ftand a- 
gainft his look, his breath, the blaft of his noftrils, far lefs 
againft his ringer, which ruined Egypt by divers plagues ; 
and yet much lefs againft his fift, Ezek. xxii. 13. Whofe 
heart can endure, whofe hands can be ftrong, in the day 
when thofe hands that meafure the waters in the hollow 
of them, that fpan the heavens, comprehend the duft of 
the earth, and take up the ifles as a very little thing, Ilia 11 
; begin to crufli, "and fquecze, and grip him? far lefs is any 
able to Withftand, when God lays on the weight of his 
wrath, which prefles them hard, as it did Heman ; or 
when he runs upon them, like a mighty giant, with his 
full force, as -a man doth upon his enemy, Job xvi. 14. 
In this caie, neither ye yourfelves nor any creature can 
help you ; therefore your mifery is inevitable. 

6f£/y, As your mifery is inevitable, (ottis eternal. It 
h not for & day, or a year, or a month, or an age, nay, 
bor for millions of ages ; but for ever. It is everlafting 
dcftru&ion, everlafting burnings, ye are to dwell with ; 
the worm dies not, the fire goeth not out ; the fmoke of 
year torments &cll afcend for ever and ever. If one ever 
will not do it, ye (hall have more of them. Here indeed 
is mifery, exquifite mifery 1 and you would do well to 
think on your efcapc 

We have now, for eight Lord's days, infifted upon this 
fubject; and may we not conclude with the prophet, "Who 
hath believed our report ?" Who among you all, who 
have been our clofe hearers upon this fubject, are yet con- 
vinced of tin } I fear, very few, if any. If there be but 
one foul among you all, that is awakened to fee its fin 
tnd nifery, the news we are next to bring ViW^^^^™- 




to fuch ; and we hope tbe Lord will grant them that which 

they long for. . 

But to the generality, who are yet fall afleep, and who 
are asiofenfible as ever, we fliall fay a few words. And, 
(i). We fay to you, Have ye not heard what we have 
charged you with? and what anfwer ye to all? I am Aire 
ye can anfwer nothing that is of weight. And if ye be not 
able to anfwer a roan- like yonrfelves, .thjnk how mute ye 
will be, when ye come before our great Lord and Mafter, 
feated upon the great white throne, (z.) What mean ye, 
O fleer ers ? Is it now time to be fleeping, when ye cannot 
tell but the next moment ye lhall fink irrecoverably into 
the immenfe ocean of the eternal and intolerable wrath of 
God? (3.) We cannot tell but this your ftnpidity may 
provoke God to that degree againft you, that ye flu II 
never have a warning more. How terrible will your cafe 
•be, if he (ball fay, Never fruit grow upon thefe barren 
and unfruitful finners any more; or if this day he fhali 
give death a cpmmiffion, Go to yonder otftinate finners, 
whoml by ray fervants have Jong been dealing with, in 
order to bring them to a conviction of their danger, ar- 
j eft them, bring them immediately to me, and 1 (hall a- 
waken them, but not to their advantage. How will your 
hearts ache, your ears tingle, and your fpirits fail, when 
ye hear the dreadful fentence pronounced i Matth. x*v, 
41. u Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlafling fire, 
prepared for the devil and his angels." Now, if yd 
would avoid this, awake in time, and flee to Jefus Chrift: 
haften your efcape, before the decree bring forth, before 
the day pafs as the chaff, before the fierce anger of tbe Lord 
come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come 
upon you. • 






A&s xv i. 29, 30 * 31. — Then he called for a light f and 
Sprang /is, and fell dawn before Paul and Silas g and 
brought them out, and /aid, Sin, what tnuft I do to be 
faved f And they [aid, Believe on the Lord Je/ui.Chri/l) 
and thou /halt be faved) and thy houfe. 

inTTHEN we began to difcourfe to you from Rom. iii. 
VV x 3- wc obferved, that there are three queftions in 
which man is principally concerned, What have I done? 
WhatfhaUldoto be faved? What /hall I render to the Lord? 
He who knows how to anfwer thefe fatrsfyingly, cannot 
mifs happinefs, if he pracVife according to knowledge. 

To the fir ft we have returned anfwer at fome length. 
We. have fhewh you, what ye have done, and what are 
tlte consequents of it : " Ye have finned, and fo come 
(hort of the glory of God." Now we fhall proceed to 
the fecond queftion, What /hall we do to be faved? And as 
the ground of what we are to fay upon this head, we have 
chofen the words read, in which both the queftion «t>d an- 
fwer are diftindly laid down. 

In the text and context, we have the' account of the 
conversion of the keeper of the prifon at Philippi, a city 
in Macedonia. In which there occur ieveraA. tVva^ 'f vrj 

L x. IV* 


i. The perfon who fras converted defervct to have * 
fpecial n?ark put upon him. lie is a heathen, one of the 
m.ii:r fort, who was taught blindly to obey what he wa< 
pur to, without ever inquiring whether right or wrong. 
He h.'d, the night reform, put the apoftle's feet in the 
ilockr, en ! laid them in chains. 'When God defigns to e- 
rtt\ trophies to hii grace, he is not wont to fingle out the 
iviorr.1, ! he wife, and polilhed fort of finuers, lead they 
fiould filory i-.i thtmfelvcs ; but he pitches upon a Mary 
Ma 30a] en that his fev-en devils dwelling in her, — >a perfe* 
cuting Saul, — a rude jailor, — " that no fltfh may glery 
in hi» orefence," 1 C >r. i. 26, — 29. 

z. The place where he is converted, is a prifon, a place 
where miuifbers were not wont to come, but when they 
were 'brought there, that they might be kept from endea- 
vouring the con\*crfion of Turners. "When God has a mind 
to have a linner, he will not want means to accomplifh 
bis Jefign. He can make a place that is defigned to be a 
me,an of iupprefling the gofpel, fubfervient to its propa- 

3. The exercifeof the apcilles under their confinement 
deierves a 'remark. A prifon js not able to keep them 
from praifing God. Sometimes they have been made to 
iin-g in a prifon, who have been mourning when at liber-' 
ty. God difpenfes the largeft, the richeffc comfort*, wheq 
his people need them mofL He can fweeten a (linking 
dungeoivwith $he favour of his fweet ointments. He can. 
J'o/ten hard chains, by lining them, as it were wjth rich 
ftipplies of grace. He can relax the clofenefs of a prifon, 
with his free Spirit, who brings liberty wherever he is. 
Tiiejr hearts are thankful fox mercies that they enjoy ; 
and God chuffs that time to give them new ones : a ftrong 
proof.that it is indeed a good thing to give thanks unto 
live name of the Lord. . Praife for old mercies bxin&s newr 
m*rcy with it. The liberal man lives by liberal devices. 

4>r^Btf rtar-afmn of the jailor's conversion is an earth- 
quake, which iliook the prifon, opened the doors, and 
mada the chains to fall off. A ftrange fort of earthquake, 
indeed, ttac loofed th« prifoner's bonds. When the 
Lord defigns to awaken a fianer, if lefs will not do it, a 
miracle (hall be wrought. 
£• It is worthy of our obfer^itiott) tVm tta (Left inftu- 



I «nce of this providence was like to have proven Tula! ai.c 
l* ruining to the man whofe falvariou was defi^iicJ. 'J he 
iirft appearances of God for the felvation of fm;urs \ru? 
have a very itrange influence. They nny be fo Lr iron; 
bringing the finners, whofe falvation is dcfigiie^, nta r «r, 
that they may ie*m 10 put them farther cif. TLc jaiioi 
: ° - would have killed him fell". 

6. Their frame and deportment undsr this difpenf^tior 
is no lefs remarkable. Though ihe earth be fhaken, theii 
"- 1 ; ■ hearts are not fo, but are in a bleiTed rift and repofe. They 
ert *' know that God who fliook the earth was their God, and 
£ iCr .' gave it a commiflion not to wrong but to help them. Thi$ 
keeps the ClirhVun calm under iliaking provident ts ; the 
feas may rage, and beat high, but the rock whereon he 
refh remains firm, and cannot be fhaken. And a fuither 
proof .of their frame we have in their regard to thi 
jailor 9 i fafety. Some would have thought it a heppy oc- 
. cation to make an tfcape ; but they take care of the keep- 
_ : er's life, though it faould be to the endangering of their 
own* They do good to enemies, and love them that hate 
7. Their words to the jailor are remarkable : " Do tby« 
lcc: I felf no harm.'* They ieafonably itep iu for preventing 
lc I. of fin; they reprefent the fin fo as it might appear the 
er * I more hateful; t J .vey remove the temptation. Herein thty 
^ J I Jeave us an example: if we would prevent the ruin or' o- 
n ^ J thers, we rauft ftep in fcafonably. Had they delayed a lit- 
a ; : I tie longer, the man had been gone pad all remedy, li 
~ :; I we would difcover .fin fo as to make it appear finful, wc 
'» f niufl reprefent it under thofe forms which are more likely 
s - I lo engage finners to renounce it : u Do thyfelf no harm." 
s I Self-preiervation is the prime dictate of nature. For oiw 
S J to deftroy himfelf, is to aft crofs to the very foundation oi 
reafon, which leads to the ufe of all means that have 1 
tendency to felf-prefervation. And then they rtmove the 
temptation. Thofe who would effectually ditfuade finners 
from fin, mutt let them fee that all the ground* they go 
upon are miftakes. The man fuppofed they had been gone, 
and that he would be puniihed tor them; and to avoid this 
imaginary danger, he would have really ruined himfelf. 
.Thus finners, to avoid imaginary evils, rim u^\ .\t»J 
I /*ncs; and to giin imaginary advania^ci, \Y^ Wk ^ 





true gain. And therefore minifters or others, in dealing 
with them, fliould ftudy te undeceive them in this matter ? 
44 Do thyfeif no harm, for we are all here." 

Here fome 'may inquire, how they faw him, when it 
was now night, and he did not fee them? To this I an- 
fwer, there might be either moon-fight* or a candle in 
the uttermoft room, whereby they might fee what was 
done there ; but yet he could not fee into the remote cor- 
ners of the innermoft prifon where they lay in chains, 

8. We are to obferve the influence that this check, this 
feafonable advice, that carried a reproof in its bofom, had 
upon the man : it convinced him, it put him into this- 
trembling humble pofture we find him in. Here I might 
obferve many very confiderable truths. Grace ufually 
begins to work, when frnners have gone to a height, to an 
excefs of fin. While the man is praclifing a bloody 
crime, and had murdered himfelf in defign, then grace 
chnfes to lay hold on him. When Saul was grown mad 
in his perfecution, carrying it eye* to a foreign country, 
grace takes the opportunity'. It doth not befpeak fmners 
in their lucid intervals $ but, to. fhew it3 p power % it.rea*h* 
es them when at their* word. Again, Jfrcrw mighty a 
change can a word make, when the fpirit of God concurs ! 
He whom the earthquake did not deter from finning, it 
overcome with a word: a word makes him that putlheir 
feet in the flocks fall down at their feet. One word e- 
pens the man's eyes to fee what he never faw before, it 
fills his heart with concern about falvatton,a thing be had 
not minded before ; and the fears of that wrath that he 
little thought of, when he was juft going to throw himfelf 
fearlefsly In its hand by felf-murder, now make him trem- 
ble, and fall down, and cry out, What muft I do to be fa* 

nred ? It makes him pay reverence to them to whom he 
paid none before. He calls them Sirs, a term of honour 
and refpecl. A great change indeed ! here are a multitude 
of wonders. The terrors of God make a ftout heart to 
(hake. An unconcerned perfecntor lays falvation to heart : 
and much concern in the heart difcover3 itfelf by its ef- 
fects % it breaks out in the trembling of the body, and the 
anxious qi.elion in the text. 

9. Here it is worth our while to inquire, what be was 
convinced of 1 Tnat the man is convinced of danger, is 


in ; that it was not the danger of being punifhed for 
ing away the prifoners, is no lefs plain ; he was now ea- 
of any fears he had of this fort. In one word, he was 
ivinced of his fin and mifery. This is plain from the 
►file's direction. It were blafphemy to think that they 
took his cafe: and the event puts it beyond all doubt, 
t they were not mi ft a ken ; for the cure is no fooaer 
died than it takes effcdt. The direction quieted tha 
n's mind ; and this makes it plair, that it wa< fin and - 
ery that was now in his view ; it was the curfe of the 
r that was purfning him. We need not fpend time 
inquiring what fins he was convinced of. That the fin 
feif-mnrder was the firft, feems probable from what 
i been already difcourfed. When the candle of the 
rd fills the bofom of thefinner with light, the firft fin 
it is feen is ufually fome great fin, and for mod part 
: fin that was laft committed. This fin was juft now 
mmitted ; and a monftrous one it was : but though this 
ght be the fir ft, we have no reafon to think that it was 
is only ; nay, we have reafon to think, that the Lord 
ve the man a broad fight of all his other impieties. 
hen the Lord lights a candle in a finner'3 bofom, though 
me one great fin occurs firft, yet he quickly turns to 
hers, and looks through the ugly heart that was never 
in before, and fees it full of fins. The Lord tells fin- 
rs fome times all that ever they did, by telling them 
>e fin ; and thus no doubt it was with the jailor. 
1 the 

10. And laft place, the pofture the poor man is in, 
len he puts the melancholy queftion, What mud I do t* 
/aved? deferves our notice ; he is fallen upon 4ns face; 
»t to worfhip : this the apoftles would not have rermit- 
d, as they did not upon other occafions ; but either it 
only a civil refpedt he pays them, after the fafhion of 
pplicants in the eaftern countries ; or his trembling legs 
ere not able to fupport his body; or partly the one, 
id partly the other, occafioned this pofture. 
The next thing that falls under our consideration, is 
te anfwer, which the apoftles give to the jailor's quef* 
on, Believe on the Lord Jefus Chriflj and thouflialt be fa* 
*d % and thy houfe. This contains the fubftance of the 
jfpcl ; and it is this part of the words wc px'nW^U^ dt- 

fign to infift on, 1 (hall refer the explication of them, till 
fuch time as I have done with what is defigned frcm the 
qneftion ; becaufe I do not incline to burden you with too 
tedious an explication of the words. 

From the qneflion itfelf, then, according to the account 
juft now given of its meaning, we (hall lay before you, 
tin J difcouric of this one doctrinal proportion, 

Doct. — u A (inner that is awakened, and foundly con- 
vinced of fin, and mifery, its necefTary confequent and 
companion, will lay falvation ferioufly to heart ; or 
will with concern put the queftion, What muft I do t9 

This we fee is the firft fruit of conviction in the jailor, 
Sirs what muft I do to befaved? This was the immediate 
refult of conviction in the awakened converts, Acts ii. 37. 
And thus it will be with all who are indeed awakened and 
convinced of fin, unlefs there be fome fuch concomitant 
circumftances as hinder it neceflarily, of which anon. 

In difcourfing this doctrine, we fliall, 

I. Premife a few things^ for clearing the doctrine, 

II. Inquire what this falvation is y which awakened tin- 
ners do feek after. 

III. We lhall endeavour to give fome account of this con- 
cern about falvation, which is the refult of conviction. 

IV. We fliall fliow, why it is that convinced Jinners do 
fay falvation to heart. Now, of each of thefe in order. 

I. We begiu with the firft ; and for clearing our doc- 
trine, we offer to your confideration a few proportions. 

Firft) Conviction is that fight of fin and mifery which Tin- 
ners get, when the Spirit of God prefents them to the 
foul's view, in their nature, and their neceflary con- 
nection with one another, together with the finner's inter- 
eft and concernment in them ; and thai in fo clear a light, 
that he cannot but take notice of them. 1/?, We fay the 
Spirit of God fets fin and mifery, in their own nature be- 
fore the finner's eyes, in a clear light. There is no man 
who has not fome apprehenfions of fin and mifery; every 
one difcourfes of thefe things. Education, the difpenfa- 


f the word, and converfe, have begot Come notions 
in every body's mind : but for any clear difcoveries 
in its nature, few have them. The thoughts of 
M>ut fin, are, for the moft part, like the thoughts of 
who never faw a toad with a full light : if any man 
I tell him how loathfome a creature it were ; and 
1, in the twilight (hew him one, when he could not 
juifli it from a piece of curious j^r lying by it, be 
. not be much affected with the account, nor would 
loughts of its deformity and uglinefs anfwer the 
itlelf : but if the fun 111 on Id dart down a beam of its 
upon the loathfome creature, the man would fee it, 
: may be then his flefh would begin to (brink, and it 
I fill him with averfion. Juft fo it is with uncon- 
i tinners: they fee fin, but it is only in the twilight 
tfon, education, or the external difpenfation of the 
; therefore they are not afletfed with it, nor do the/ 
y peculiar deformity in it, untill the Spirit of God 
1 a ray of fnrernatural light, and then this very 
ly fills the foul with a view of its exceeding finfulnefs, 
1 makes the heart begin to fhrink at it, and entertain 
:h averfion. The cafe is juft the fame with relpetf to 
nifery that is the confequent and companion of fin. 
>nce the Lord make bare his arm in the firmer 's view, 
aft in fome drops of wrath into his foul, with a cer- 
:ion that thefe are but drops, he will never be du- 
:dled with it. 2J/y, The Spirit of God in conviction, 
nly prefents fin and mifery to the foul in their own 
e, but likewife in their connection. God has linked 
id hell together. It always was fo, but tinners do 
Iways think fo. Groundlefs apprehenfions of God, 
he were all mercy, his patience in forbearing the ex- 
on of fuch as deferve double deftru&ion, the fubtile 
ningsof Satan, the world, and deceitful lufh, either 
: a perfuafion, that fin and wrath may be feparate, or 
l fufpicion that it is not certain that they are fo link- 
gether as the word fays, and minifters aver. But the 
t of God prefents the two, in their dependence and 
exion, in fuch a light to the finner's mind, that he 
ot but believe that there is no parting them. 3^/}', 
Spirit of God difcovers to the finnner how deeply he 
ncerned in fin* and ccnfequently in that woe that is 


linked to it. He not only lets him fee the toad crawling 
at a dl fiance, but upon his very clothes. He not only tells 
him that a certain man has finned, as Nathan did in the 
parable, but applies the parable, and fays, " Thou art 
the man." He not only lets the finner fee hell and fin link- 
ed together, but alfo lets them fte the one end of the chair, 
fin, fattened to himfelf: and all this he difcovers with 
fHch clearness as obliges the finner to notice it. 

Secondly^ We premife this, That thers are different de- 
grees of convittion, and that both as to its clearnefs, ex- 
tent, and continuance. Upon fome perfons, fome faint 
rays break in, and open their eyes fomewhat above na- 
ture^ power, letting them fee a little more clearly. Upon 
others there come in full beams, difcovering all diflind- 
ly, like the fun finning in his ftrength. Again, fome dif- 
cover only a few ; others get under their view many fins ; 
the light that fhines upon fome, is only like a flafh of 
lghtening, that fills the honfe with furprifing light, and 
is prefently gone again ; or like the warm blinks of the 
fun before a fhower, which are prefently gone, and the 
fky filled with dark clouds. So various are convictions, 
as to their degrees of clearnefs, extent, and continuance. 
Thofe convictions which are only faint, and reach only to 
a few fins, we are not here f peaking of, when we fpeak of 
a finner that is thoroughly awakened or convinced. 

Thirdly^ The ijfues and confequences of conviftion are no 
lefs various. Thofe fainter difcoveries of fin, which many 
meet with in the difpenfation of the word, or by awaken- 
ing providences, ufually carry people the length of fome 
faint defires after deliverance ; or if they rife higher, it 
feldorn goes further than good refoltitions, and there they 
die. The great fl a flies of light, which dart into the 
minds of fome, very often mifcarry, and turn to nothing. 
It is much with the perfon who falls under them, as it it 
with a man that is awakened by a flafh of lightening that 
darts into his bed: the noife of a thunder-clap, that comes 
along with it, may make the man Itart up before he is 
well awaked ; and the light difcovering many things, oe- 
cafions a great confufion in his mind; but prefently the 
noife is over, and the light gone, and then the natural 
temper of his body, the foftnefs and eafe cf the bed he 
)/es on, do invite him afrefli to deep ; and though by the 



light that came in, he might fee the room full of enemies, 
he is eafily perfuaded that all was hut illufions of fancy, 
and therefore he lays himfelf down again, and falls fuft 
afleep. Thus it is with many : they hear the thunder- 
ings of the law in the preaching of the word ; and fome- 
times the Spirit of God lets in a beam of light into the 
heart with them, that fills all the foul with fear, di (cov- 
ering the deadly foes that are lodged and fecreilv enter- 
tained there; this makes tinners Hart up, and it may be 
cry out ; they are awaked out of their fecurity, and raife 
themfelves out of their beds. Now, one would think 
thofe perfons in a great forwarduefs, and very well ; but 
ere ever ye arc aware, they are fail afleep again. " They 
return with the dog to the vomit, and with the fow that 
was w afhed, to the wallowing in the mire;" they fall in 
their own fin«. Why, what is the matter ? No degree 
of conviction can change the heart ; and conviclions of 
fhort continuance do rather fright than foundly awaken: 
therefore, when the natural inclinations of the heart 
prefTes on to a little more fleep ; and Satan joining iflue 
with this frame of the carnal mind, contributes his part, 
and endeavours to lay the foul afleep again, it cannot 
chufe but fall afleep ; for the flafli of light is gone, and 
the voice of the minifter, or providence, by the noife of 
thofe ^p licit ations, are ban i (bed his mind : and here ends 
the religion of a great many, who at communions, and 
fome other occafions, appear to be fome thing. 

Fourthly, When we fpeak of a perfon's being foundly 
aad deeply convinced, and of abiding convictions, we do 
not mean that there is any one degree of conviction that 
all come to who are faved ; nor do we mean, that there is 
any degree of conviction which is always followed with 
faith : for thofe who are mod deeply convinced, may one 
way or other mi f carry and, be loft. They may fall into 
defpair, or they may fall in with falfe remedies; or they 
may wear out from under convictions, as fome have done, 
and then turned openly profane. Nor do we intend that 
every one who believes, before he do fo, muft lie a long 
time under convifiion; for we fee the contrary in the jai- 
lor, who prefently believes and rejoices, and fo was very 
foon out from under his convictions. In fine, we only 
fpeak of dctpnnd found con viction, in oppofcuow \o\\u^% 


fainter ones, which feldom raife the perions that hav« 
them above the (laggard's defires, or fome ineifeclual re. 
fol ut ions: an'd when we fptak of abiding conviction, it is 
in opposition to thoTe flashes, which are prefently goncj 
and luve no other influence than to make half awakened 
finners rtart up, and cry out of their fears, but prefently 
thrir fears are huihed, and they lie down, and fall as fail 
'aflrep us ever. 

Fifthly, Our doctrine muft only be underflood of thofe 
who are yet in time ; for damned finners are indeed fuffici- 
ently awakened, yet cannot be faid to put this inquiry, 
be ca ufe they are abundantly convinced, that falvation is 
not to be expedted. And the fame is to be faid as to thofe 
who have fplit upon the rock of defp3ir, who, though 
they be not yet in hell, do judg<", notwithstanding, their 
efcape impoflible. Our doclrineis not to be underltood of 
thofe perforis. 

Sixthly, We fay not in our doctrine, that convictions, 
"however deep, or diilinft, or abiding, iflfue in falvation^ 
but in a ferious concern about it. A perfon may be con- 
cerned, and put .inquiries about that which he may never 
attain. He mzy zfkf.Whqt f/iall I do to be faved? who 
never fhallbe favecf. The young man in the gbfpel afked, 
u liVliat fiui'ft'lf cfo to inherit eternal life?" yet, for any 
thing' the fcriptures makes' appear,' he did never inherit it. 
Thefe" things being laid clown foV clearing the doctrine, we 
now proceed to the. 

II. Thing propofed) which was, to inquire what that 
Jahationis which awakened finners are concerned about, 
and "which they feek after. Salvation, as every, one knows, 
iignifies a delivery from one thipg or other that is looked 
upon as cfangerous, evil, and hurtful. None" are capable of 
falvation, fave thofe are who either under fome fuch evil, 
or who ai*e in danger of it ; and then they may be faid faved, when they are freed from it, "or from the 
danger of it; when they are delivered from diftrefles, or 
when their fafetyls 'provided for. 'Thjs is the plain im- 
port of the word. But as it is ufed by convinced finners, 
it takes in more : ! it not only refpeih deliverance from e- 
vil^ but alfh the enjoyment of God and of good. It is fre«» 
quently fo ufed'iu fcripture : falvation there is put, not 
pjuj. for deliverance from hellj but foe' the title to heav- 
" ' • • ' ' ■■ €V \. 


rii.j and hence believers are fbyled " heirs of falvation," 
Heb. i. 14.; where the apoftle, (peaking of th: angels, fays 
14 Are ibry not all miniftering fpirils, fent forth to inini- 
fter to them who (hall be the heirs of falvation?" In one. 
word, this Olvation, that awakened tinners ftek alter, 
takes. in freedom from tin, and a title to life ; and hence 
the queflion in the text takes in oMur two: 

Firfi r Wliat Jliall I do that I may get pardon of fin? The 
(inner fees that it is tin that draws hell upon him ; there- 
fore, unlefs this be pardoned, he defpairs utierly of free- 
dam from hell and wrath. The one he fees impoflible to 
be attained,, unlefs he can firfl get t Lie other. As tin 
draws cw bell, fo pardon is linked to falvaiion from hell ; 
or rather, falvation from wrath is linked to pardon. 
This we fee plainly enough in thejearriagc of thofe con- 
vinced timers, Micah vi. 6. " "therewith, (hall I come 
before the Lord, or bow myfeif before the High God? fliall . 
I come before him with burnt-offer rags, and calves of a 
year old? Will the Lcrd be p'eafeckwith thoufands of 
rams, or ten thoufands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my 
tirft-born fpr my traufgrefljon, the fruit of my body for-, 
the fiu of my foul?*'' This is the genuioe language of a 
convinced tinner. Pardon he would have at any fair. * 

Secondly, The other queflion that is implied in the text, 
is that-of the young man that came to Chrifl, Mark x. 37. 
u What..flia J .l I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 
Though pardon of fin* or freedom from wrath, be that 
which firfl occurs to an awakened tinner as the object of 
his.detires; yet it is not all that he defires. Salvation 
would be very incomplete, if eternal life came not in to 
boot: for man might be.forgiven, and yet turned into 
nothing, or not admitted into the enjoyment of God. A 
rebel may be pardoned, and never be made a favourite. 
That this, as well as the other,, will be .much upon the 
thoughts of a folidiy convinced tinner, appears from feve- . 
ral confiderations. C.._ 

i/? f When God himfelf condefcends to direft fuch, he 
mskes fomething more than pardon neceflary to them, 
H%f. xiv. 2. There the remnant of the Jews, whom the 
Lord has a mind to do good to, are told what they mud 
feck from him when they, return, and what was neceflary 
in jordcr to their happinefs ; not only muft v\\t^ W* t. \\vlyc 


iniquities pardoned, but they muft have gracious accept- 
ance with God, 6r admiffion into his favour. " Take 
with you words, and turn to the Lord, fav unto him, 
Take away all iniquity, and receive us gracioufly." Gra- 
cious acceptance with God is full as neceflary, in order to 
the content of an awakened finner, as pardon of fin. 

zdly, Awakened finners, in all ages, have by their prac- 
tice evidently di (covered, that pardon alone did not feem 
fufficient to fatisfy them. They have ever been feeking 
after forae rightcoufnefs, wherein they might appear be- 
fore God, and upon which they might found their title 
and claim to eternal life, as being fenfible that pardon of 
(in alone could not del it. The Jews, who ertpecled par- 
don from the mercy of God, vet '* went about to eftab- 
lifh a righteoufnefs of their own, being ignorant of the 
righteoufnefsof God," Rom. x. iii. 

3<tfy, In one word, a convinced (inner is one that is per- 
foaded of a future (late, and that the things of this world 
cannot make him happy : therefore he certainly means the 
fame by this queftion, What/hall I do to be favedf that we 
mean when we inquire, What fhall make us happy. That 
every awakened finner is convinced of a future (late, is un- 
queftionable, fince the wrath he would fo fain be fried 
from is chiefly in a future ftate : nor is it lefs plain, that it 
is complete happinefs he aims at, and that all his trouble 
arifes from the apprehenfions of the inconfiftency between 
his happinefs and unpardoned guilt. That which only re- „ 
mains to be made appear, is, that pardon of fin alone cannot *' 
fecure him of eternal happinefs: and this is eafily proven ; 
for there are two things which pardon doth not, and yet 
without them both it is impoffible tljat man (hould be hap- 
py, (i.) Pardon of (in gives man no title, no claim, to 
eternal life and happinefs. Innocence in Adam did not 
give him a title to heaven ; can any, then, think 'that 
pardon now can give us a title } Eternal life was to be the 
reward of a courfe of obedience ; nor had innocent Adam 
any pretentions to it, till fuch time as he had fulfilled a 
courfe of perfect obedience ; far lefs, then, could fallen 
man have any pretenfions to it, if only his fins were par- 
doned. (2.) Pardon of fin doth not make man meet for 
u the inheritance of the faints in light," for converfeand 
intercom fe with God. A convinced finner will fee, that 



itre is no poffibility of accefs for him to the enjoyment of 
rod, unlefs there be an entire change wrought upon his na- 
ire; for how can two of fo very different natures have 
uy mutual complacency in one another ? God can have 
one in the finful nature of man ; nor can the finful na- 
jre of man have any in the holy nature of God : and it 
t what none can fay, that pardon changes the nature of 
le perfon that is pardoned. 

Now, to fum up what we have fa Id under this head, 
hen an awakened finner puts the qneflion, Whit muft I 
jtobefaved? he juft means, How (hall I obtain happi- 
efs? And this has thefe three in it: [1.] How ihall I 
et my fins pardoned? [2.] How fliall I get a title to e- 
rrnal life ? [3,] How {hall I be made meet to be a iharer 
f the** inheritance of the faints in light ?" Unlefs the 
find be fully fatisfied as to thefe three inquiries, it can 
ever think itfelf fecure or happy. That which cornea, 
3 the 

III. Place, to be inquired into, is the nature of this con* 
trnj which is the genuine MTue and necefTarr rcfult of 
Mind conviaion. The nature and effe&s of this we fliall 
nfold to you in the following particulars. And, 

Birfl* To lay falvation to heart, or to be concerned a- 
out it ferioufly, imports diflatisfadlion with all other en- 
aymentB, fo long as the foul is in the dark about this. 
The man may poffibly be pofle/Ted of great things in the 
rorld, he may have all going there with him according 
wifli ; but if once he begin to take falvation to heart, 
e will find content of mind in none of thefe things. If 
uch a one call his eye upon his enjoyments, his riches, 
is honours, his plea Cures, he will be fure to conclude, 
s Haman did upon another account, Ed her v. 13. ** Yet 
11 this aval 1 et h nie- nothing, fo long as I am at an uncer- 
ainty about falvation." Thefe things cannot fatisfy. 
Vhat are they to a dying man > One that apprehends 
lira fe If juft read/ to be fwallowed np of the wrath of God, 
an relifli no (weetnefs in any of thefe things, till once he 
e rid of the fears of that. Thus we fee it is with the jailor ; 
e who but a little before was fo anxious about the prifon- 
rs, that he was ready to have made hiipfelf away for fear 
f their efcape, turns now unconcerned about ihefe things, 
nd we hear not, that, while all the doors were open, he 

»34 man** Recovery by faith in Christ; 

made any provifion for their fecnrity ; nor did he receive 
any fatisfaclion from nnderftariding that they were all fafe. 
This difiatiFfacrion is not foch a di (content as fome fall 
into who are no ways awakened, which leads them to 
fret, grudge, and repine, becaufe their lot in a prefent 
world is not fuch as they would have it ; no, but it is 
fuch a ditfatisfa&ion as Hows from a folid perfuafion that 
thefe things cannot afford happinefs, or avert impending 
and threatened mifery, which is fo terrible in the eyes of 
lhe alarmed firmer. 

Secondly^ This concern about falvation imports thought- 
fulnefs about the threatened evili t and the means of prevent- 
ing them. When the foul has once got a view of fin 
and mifery in their native colours, and fees mifery threat- 
ening it, then this arrefts the thoughts ; the mind can ply 
jtfclf to no other thing with pleafnre, but only to the 
ways and means of efoape. If other thoughts intrude, 
they are prefently rejected with contempt, as impertinent. 
The man indeed doth not deny it to be his duty to be con* 
cerned about other things ; but ht thinks it not prefent 
duty, nay, he thinks it impertinent for him in his pre- 
fent condition, fie is like one that lives in a befieged ci- 
ty : the enemy has made a breach in the walls, and threat- 
ens a fuddrn irruption. In which cafe, the man knows 
very well he is obliged to attend to the duties of his or- 
dinary calling and ftation ; yet, in the prefent exigence, 
he doth not judge it pertinent to look that way; for if 
ihe^enemy once enter at the breach, and fack the city, 
then he for ever lofes the advantage of any thing that he 
gains, by his other .endeavours ; therefore he rather turns 
bis thoughts and contrivances to the reparation of the 
breach, or pacifying of the enemy, if he find the place not 
tenable agaiuft him. Juft fo is it in the cafe of an awak- 
ened (inner .: he knows, that if the wrath of God overtake 
him, he is for ever ruined ; therefore his thoughts are 
wholly bent upon this, how he may be delivered from the 
wrath to come. Thus we fee the Pfalmjft employed under 
fears of impending hazard, Pfal. xiii. 2. u How long 
(fays he) fliall I take counfel in my foul, having forrow 
in m*y heart daily ? How long (hall mine enemy be exalt- 
ed over me ?" The apprehenfions he was under of danger, 
put him upon many contrivances how he might rid him- 



felf of it. This is always the nature of concern ; it ir- 
refo the thoughts, and kef ps men fixe-i upon that about 
which the foul is concerned* 

Thirdly, This concern has in it always earnefincfs of dt~ 
fire after falvation. Defire is ever implied in concern of 
mind; if a man be concerned how to avert a threatened 
evil, he defires freedom from it ; if he be concerned how 
to obtain any good he wants, or retain what already he 
is poneffcd of, the foul ever immixes its concern with 'de« 
fire. This flows from the very nature of man's foul 3 
for defire is nothing elfe but the cleaving of the rational, 
foul to that which appears congruous, ufeful, and uecef- 
fary to its happinefs : fo one that is awakened, and fees 
his hazard, will certainly defire falvation. Hence it is, 
that we find Chrift the Saviour, among the other titlts 
which are given to him in fcripture, obtain that famous 
one, " The defire of all nations," Hag. ii. 6 t 7. u For 
thus faith the Lord of hoflg, yet once, it is a little while,. 
and I will fliake the heavens, and the earth, ami the feu, 
and the dry land ; and I will (hake all nations, and the 
defire of all nations (hall come ; and I will fill thishoufe 
with glory, faith the Lord of hofts." A Saviour will be 
defired by fuch of all nations as arc awakened to fee their 
need of him. 

Fourthly, This concern about falvation imports a com* 
motion in the ajfetiions. A foul full of thoughts about 
wrath threatened or felt, will have its affection 3 employed 
about it, according to the account the judgment gives of 
it. If wrath be in any meafure felt, it will fill the foul 
with grief and forrow; if it be looked upon as approach- 
ing, it will make the man (hake with fear ; if it be repre- 
fented as ruining and deftrucVive to the foul, it will raife 
the bigheft hatred and averfion ; if there be any apparent 
poffibility of efcape, it will excite hope in the foul. In 
one word, in a foul that lays falvation ferioufly to heart, 
every one of thefe paffions will take their turn, accord- 
ing as occafion calls for then, or the prefent exercife of 
the mind requires and excites them. Were we difcour- 
fing of this concern about falvation only as it reds in the 
mind, we fhould flop here ; but here we are confidering 
it, not only as it is in own nature, but as it doth mani- 
feft itfetf in its effects ; and therefore, 



Fifthly, We fey, where the foul is thus uneafy for want 
of lalvation, thoughtful about it* and going forth in de- 
fircs after it, this inward temper and frame of the mind 
will di (cover itfelf in words and language. Words are 
the indications of the thoughts of the mind ; and where 
the mind is fwallowed up of concern about any thing, fo 
as to have all its thoughts engrofled by it, then of necef- 
fity the words muft intimate fo much. A man indeed may- 
be concerned about fomething of lefs importance, and this 
not hold; but when falvation is laid to Leart, then the 
tongue will be employed as well as the mind. It is ftori- 
ed 9 that the father's hazard made the tongue-tacked child 
fpeak ; much more would its own hazard have done fo» 
Our Lord fays, u Out of the abundance of the heart the 
moi'th fpeaketh," Matih. xii. 34. ; and indeed where 
thcie is very much concern this way, it will net eafily be 
retained ; it will be like a hVe that cannot endure to be pent 
up tlole in a room, but muft bare a vent. Thus we fee 
it wis with the jailor. That which lay neareft the heart 
takes the ftart m diftourfe: Siri y fays he, what muft I d» 
to be fared 7 • l ' 

Sixthly, This inward frame of foul, this eoncern of 
mind,- leads to the uje of means. As the tongue will be 
employed in inquiring, and the mind in contriving, fo 
the reft of the man will be employed in following after, 
and i.fing the means that are fuited to give relief. Thus we 
fee it was with the jailor ; he prefently comes to the apof- 
tles, and feeks after direction and help from them. No 
doubt he had heard of them what the poffefTed dimfel, in 
the 17th yerfe of this chapter, cries out, that they were 
44 the fervants of the living God," who made it their 
work u to (hew men the way of falvation ;" and this 
makes him addrefs himfelf to them, as the readied expedi- 
ent, the be ft means to get rid of his fears, and to be 
folved of the important fern pie that now lay fo near hia 

Seventhly, Not only will this concern drive to the ufe 
of means, but it wiliy?/r up to diligence in the ufe of them. 
It will fire the foul with fuch activity, as will carry it o- 
ver that natural fluggiflinefs that is in the heart of man, 
as the natural and genuine fruit of the depraved nature. 
The unewcermd man, the man that is half awakened, 




will fay with ti.e fluggard, u There is a lion in the way, 
and I (hall be (bin in the flreets." He will have a thou- 
fand trifling difficulties that will retard him, and keep 
him back; but when one lays falvation to heart, he will 
foon get overall thefe, and fall dole to the diluent life 
of means, in fpite of all difficulties. Tlnis it was with 
the jailor: He fprang in, and came trem'yling^ arid f;id y 
Sirs, what muft I do to be faved P He warned i.oi • U .rwn 
grounds to fear the luccefs of his attempt. What ! mi^ht 
he think, will thefe men, whom I uf-d Co hadty but tie 
night before, deal fo kindly by me, as to help me in this 
miserable pinch? And will that God, whou I have provo- 
ked to be my enemy, tender me any relief? But wrath 
purfued him fo clofe at. the heels, that he dnrft not (lay 
on any of thefe accounts, but haairda the iffne, be what 
it will. An awakened (inner 13 ever brought to the le- 
per's refolut ion, % Kings vii. 3,4. He fees an inevitable ne. 
cetfity of dying, if he fit (till in this prefent condition, or 
if he join hirafelf to his old friends ; and therefore he will 
rather chufe to venture all upon the mercy of God, and 
his fervants, whom he takes for his enemies, as knowing 
that there he has a peradventure for life, whereas he has 
not that fame any where elfe. 

Eighthly, This concern will difcover itfelf, by putting 
the foul in an afiive and waiting pofture, ready to receive 
any injunction, and to comply with it without delay. One 
that comes thus to be concerned about falvation, will not 
(land to difpute the terms propofed, but will»greedily wait 
for, and readily accept of them, if practicable, if poffible. 
Thus we fee it is with the poor man in our text. He comes 
not to make, but accept terms. Sirs, fays he, what mufl 
J do to befavedP as if he had faid, I am refolved to fcru- 
ple nothing ye (ball enjoin me ; tell me but what I (hall 
do, aud here am I ready to accept of any propofal that ye 
(hall, tu God's name, make unto me. 

Thus we have unfolded unto you the nature of this 
concern which a folidly convinced (inner will have about 
falvation, and that from the text. 1 (hall now proceed, 

IV. To inquire, Why it is that a folidly awakened finner 
does thus lay falvation to heart above all things. An ac 
count of this matter, we conceive, may be given in two 
or three proportions* 

M 3 FlY^ 


Fir fly A ftrong defire of felf-pref emotion is inlaid in the 
mind of man, and fo clofely woven in with his very frame 
and nuke, that there is no gettVng rid of it. Man may 
as foon ceife to be, a? ceafe to defire bis own preservation : 
44 No man yet hated his own ffeflt, but cheriiheth it,' 5 
fays the apoftle, Eph. v. 29. If that hold in the laxer 
fenfe, when a man's near relation is called his- own fleih, 
it moll hold much -more when it is taken in the moil ftrifi 
and clofe fenfe, for a man's felf. 

Secondly, The- neceflary confeqnence of this defire oi 
fel f- prefer v at ion, 'is an utter abhorrence unto every thing 
that is contrary to nature, or that appears deftrucYivef ol 
it ; and every thing' appears more-' or lefs terrible, as it ii 
more or lefs hnrtful to nature. Thefe : things which 
threaten us with utter ruin* cannot bnt 611 the mind with 
terrible horror* Hence it is that death ia called th4 
king of terrors, becatife it threatens nature, not witl 
fome alterations of lefs importance, but- with entire dif 
folution. Death of all things is the moft oppofite tc 
nature ; and every other thing is more or lefs terrible? 
as it has more or lefs of death in it. 

Thirdly^ An awakened foul, a folidly convinced firtnef, 
fees, by that light that God has let into his foul, the wrat) 
of God j th$ fecortd death, ready to lay hold upon him r am 
ruin him eternally $ therefore carm&t but have the great 
eft averfion poflible to it. What will p"ut a man to flight 
if not the fight of inevitable death behind him? Then, 
if ever, will a man flee, when he fees himfelf brought t< 
that lamentable pinch, that he mo ft either flee or die.- 

Fourthly^ Hence it inevitably follows, that fiich a mar 
who fees himfelf in danger %f utter ruin, in the cafe h< 
is in, will, nay, of rteceffity muft, lay himfelf out to tin 
utmoft, or be concerned above all for falvation froo 
threatened ruin or mifery* That principle of felf- prefer- 
vation, and that abhorrence of what is hurtful to na 
ture, which are the fp rings of all a man's aclions, can 
not but carry the whole man, and all the powers of tin 
man, to its a Hi fiance, when it fees that the whole is en 

Having thus (hortly difcufled what belongs to the e» 

plication of this truth, we proceed now to make fom 

frafiic&l improvement of it, And among many ufes tha 


might be made ©fit, we {hall only make one, and that is 
of trial. 

Is it- fo, that a foundly convinced finner will lay fal- 
Yatioit to heart ab?ve all things elfe? Then here is a 
touch-done whereby ye may try whether or not ye be 
indeed convinced of fin, and whexher foundly or not : and, 
in the name of God, We obteft you to put this to trial. 

Fir/I, Unlefs ye know whether ye be convinced of fin 
or not, ye cannot know whether ye have got good of 
all that we have difcourfed to you formerly. Phis we 
know, that ye are either better or worfe by it; for 
u ae the rain cometh down, and the fnow from heaven, 
and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and 
maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give feed to 
the lower, and bread to the eater; fo ilia 11 my word be, 
faith the Lord, that goeth forth out of my mouth ; it 
(hall not return unto me void, but it {hall accompli fh 
that which I pleafe, and it fliall profper in the thing 
whereto I fent it," Ifa. Iv. 10, 11. We have fpent many 
fermons on this defign of conviction ; and now ye are 
concerned to try, and' we are concerned to try, what has 
been the fruit of them. If ye be not yet convinced of fin, 
then^ ye have loft the adrantage of all that has been faid 
on this head. 

Secondly, Try this fairly , we obteft you ; for if ye be 
not convincvd, ye are like to lofe the advantage of all 
that is to be faid from the text we are now entering, upon. 
We ihall, if the Lord will, from this fcripture, hold 
forth and make offer ofChrift Jefusour Lord, as the only 
Saviour of loft finners: and if ye be not convinced found- 
ly of fin, ye are like to lofe the advantage of fnch offers? 
for none will welcome or entertain them, fave only fuch 
as are convinced of fin. 

Thirdly, Try, for the Lord's fake, whether ye becmtvm- 
cedoffin or not: for not a few woefully deceive theqrfelves 
in this matter. They take that general and unconcerned 
acknowledgment of fin, which every one is led to by cut* 
torn, education, or fome fuch way, for that folid convic- 
tion which is neceflary in order to our cordial acceptance 
of the gofpel * and this deceit is of a raoft dangerous con- 4 


feqoence, becaufe it lies near the foundation, and a crack 
there inuft of neceffity be fatal and ruining. 

That ye may be at a point in this matter, we iliall a- 
gain run over the feveral parts of that defcnption we gave 
of this concern about falvation, which we would now hare 
you to try yourfelves by. 

But befoie we enter upon this trial, there Is one fort 
of perfons we would fefc by, as not concerned in it $ and 
that is, fuch as are openly profan*, drunkards, fwearers, 
liars, whoremongers, thieves, and the like. It were grofo 
folly to make a trial of fuch who have their mark upon 
their foreheads. Thofe monfters are fo far from being 
concerned about falvation, that they feem concerned to 
make their own damnation fure ; in as far as they take 
the plained, the fureft, and ftraighteft courfe to ruin their 
own fouls. As their damnation lingers not, fo it will be 
juft, becaufe they run upon a feeu evil. They deferve 
fcarce companion, who can tell that he " who doth fuch 
things is guilty of death;" and yet not only do, " but 
take pleafure in them that do thera." To endeavour to 
make a difcovery of fuch perfons, by an application ©f 
narrow and fearching marks, were as if we did bufy our* 
felves in feparating huge Hones from corn by a fine fieve, 
when it were much more eafily done with the band. Thefe 
we fet a fide in the entry, becaufe their (ins go before them 
into judgment. But befides thefe notorious finners, there 
are others who are ho lefs ft rangers to folid conviction 
than they, upon whom nevertheless it is fomething more 
hard to prove it. And therefore, for the difcovery of 
fuch, we (hall now proceed to deal a little more clofely 
with your confcienccs; and (I nee your concernment in thrs> 
matter is fo great, as we juft now did (hew it to be, we 
obtefl you t9 be ferious in this matter, .which is, paft all 
peradventure, to turn either to your eternal advantage, 
or to your eternal difadvantage. 

Ye all do profefs yourfelves convinced of fin. But now 
if it be fo,. I demand of you, in God's name, have ye ev- 
er to this day been concerned about falvation, or, laid it to 
heart above all things > If ye have not, then to this day 
ye have never been foundly convinced of lin, whatever 
your pretences are : and fo ye are found liars in this mat- 

ter 3 


tor, and deceivers of your own fouls. If ye fay ye have 
been, or are ferioufly concerned abdut fa] vat ion, then, 

jftf I pofe your confeiences, and I dem&rid ye may 'pofe 
them with this- qutltion, Can ye be (at is tied with other 
things, while ye are at an utter uncertainty about fal- 
vation ? If fo, if ye can be well pleafed, and have reft in 
your mind, and live contentedly at an uncertainty about 
falvation, provided ye be in health of body, and your 
worldly concerns thrive, then we fay, ye luve never yet 
been concerned about filiation, and therefore are yet 
it rangers to that found conviction, without which none 
will be content to accept of Chrift. 

xdly y I pofe you in God's name upon it, what thoughts 
do ye fpentl upon this fubjedt ? Perfons who ean fpend 
whole days, and nights, and weeks, and never have a fc- 
rious thought about falvation, they certainly are not lay* 
ihg it to heart. But that I may bring this fecond queftion 
yet a little clofer to the conference, I (hall break it into 
one or two others ; and I. lpofe you on it what thoughts 
do ye chufe ? Perfons may fometimes be oppreffed with 
thoughts that they entfcruun the uttermoft averfion to ; 
or they may be foiled from the thoughts they would for 
ever defire to dwell nport* A man that is' thoroughly a- 
wakened, may, by the* impetuous violence of temptation, 
or the inevitable occasions of life, be obliged, as it were, 
fometimes to intermit thoughts of falvation, and entertain 
thoughts about other things : but when he has leave to 
make choice, then he will chufe to think of falvation. 
Now, if you chufe ordinarily to think of other things 
than of falvation, then there is no fuch force upon you, 
it difcovers you unconcerned about falvation, and conse- 
quently ft rangers to that folid conviction that i flues alwa)S 
in fuch a feribus concern as we have been fpeaking of. a. I 
further pofe you, whether or not do the thoughts about 
falvation frequently prefs in upon you, when ye are bufied 
about the ordinary occafions of life, when employed in your 
ordinary occupations, when ye are working or converting? 
If fuch thoughts are never wont to vifit you even then it is 
a fad fign that ye do not lay falvation ferioufly to heart ; 
for certainly that which the mind is much concerned about 
will frequently drive the thoughts that way. 3. I put 
this one queftion more to you, what thoughts are thofe on 


which your time is f pent ? All your time, ye may think, is 
your own time: but th?ere is a certain portion of time 
which imy be called fo upon a peculiar account ; fuch are 
tbofe-feafons wherein we are neither engaged, in bufinefs or 
in diversion, as, when we walk,. Alone in the fields, when 
we. feparate ourfelves in order to reft at night, when we. 
are undreffing ourfelves, or when we are waking upon our 
beds in the nighutime, or before we engage in company 
in the morning. Now, in reference to. (uch feafons as 
thefe that we enquire into your thoughts. If thefe fea- 
fons be not employed in thoughts about falvation, it it a 
fad fign that ye are not in earned about it indeed. 

3*//y, I put this queftion to yon, what are your defires } 
Man is a defiring creature : he is fenfible of felf-iafuffici- 
ency, and therefore is ever defining and longing, after fome 
one thing or other that is fuited to his need, or at leait 
which he thinks to be fo. Now,, what is it that ye defire 2 
Is it falvation ? Is it Chrift i It may be, ye never have a 
defire after falvation,. but when ye are laid upon a f?ck-bed, 
and fall under fears of death } and even then, where there 
is one defire for eternal falv^tiop, there are many for free* 
dom from death, for fome longer life* Dying David, 
f peaking of that covenant whereby falvation was en fared 
to him, could call it all his defire : <'. Although my hoofe 
be not fo with God ; yet he hath made with me an ever- 
lading covenant, ordered in all things and fure ; for this 
is all my falvation, and all my defire, although he make it 
not to grow," a Sam. xxiii. 5. If your foals do not fre- 
quently go out in defires after God, after falvation, it is 
a flirewd evidence that ye are not concerned about falva- 
tion, and confequently that ye are not yet convinced of 

4t/Uy, Are your hearts ever affected about falvation } 
When there is a concern about any thing in the foul of 
man, it never fails to fet the heart a-work, and to fill the 
affections. Now, furely if ye be in any good degree con* 
cerned about falvation, ye will be affVaed. 1. Have ye 
never any fears of falling fhort of fdlvation } u Let us 
fear, left apromife being left us of entering into hi3 reft, 
a' y of us mould feem to come ihort," fays the apoftle, 
Heb. iv. 1. A heart weighted, and really concerned a* 
bout falvation, will fee many grounds to fear that poffi- 



fely it may lofe falvation at lad. The falls of others, the 
-difficulties and opposition in the way to falvation, and its 
own felt weaknefs, will ever occafion fear in the heart a- 
boot this. What one is very concerned to have, he ii 
always feared to lofe. 2. Do ye never tafte any thing of 
the anger of God in the threatcnings ? Thofe that are 
concerned about falvation, get fuch a tafte of God's dif- 
pleafdre, as is wont to fill their hearts with grief and for- 
row. If ye know nothing of this, it looks very ill, and 
fpeaks you not duly concerned about falvation. 3. Do 
ye never rind any thing of fhame for fin rifing in your 
heart > If none of thefe affections be moved, it is a Ld but 
fure evidence that ye are not concerned about falvation, 
and consequently that ye are not yet folidly convinced of 
fin. , 

5thly, 'Whether runs your dlfcourfe commonly i Do ye • 
never (peak of falvation ? We told yon formerly, that 
when the- heart is much concerned about falvation, the 
month will fometiraes be employed in f pea king about it. 
Now, where runs your talk commonly ? Is there never a 
word of falvation in your difcourfe ? It is a fad fign that 
ye never yet were convinced of fin f that ye never yet laid 
falvation to heart. Do not think that it will clear you, 
to tell that ye lmift conform your difcourfe to the tem- 
per of thofe with whom ye converfe : for I fay, z. Do ye 
never converfe with any body that would be willing to en- 
tertain difcourfe about falvation ? If it be fo, then lam 
fure it is choice and not neceflity makes it fo : this there- 
fore is a further proof of your unconcernednefs about fal- 
vation, ye flight the converfe of fuch as may help you. 
2* Are jre never in company where ye may lead the dif- 
courfe > If ye be a mafler of a family, a parent, or any 
fuperior, lam fure amongft your inferiors ye may have 
the leading of the difcourfe; nay, though ye be fervants, 
ye mayfome time or other have as fair a pretence to pre- 
scribe to others the fubjecT of difcourfe,, as they have to 
prefer ibe to you. 3. If ye fliift the evidence of all this, I 
fhall put here a queftion or two to you, which will, if 
faithfully applied, make a difcovery of you in this matter. 
And'j (1.) Do ye not weary of the company, and of the 
difcourfe, that has no refpect to falvation? (2.) Is it not 
a reftraiat upon you, wben ye are kept from difcourfing 



©t falvation? Jr ye be - really concerned about it, I an 
Cure it will be fo fometime* with you. But I proceed % 
and, in the 

6th place, I ptit the queftion to you, What diligence is 
therein tiling the means of . falvation ? No man that un- 
derftands either fcripture or reafon, can think the man con- 
cerned about falvation that ufeth not the means of fa lv ac- 
tion. Now, becaufe I judge that here we may meet with 
not a few of you, 1 fhall defcend to particulars, and deal 
plainly with you about this matter. The means of falva- 
tion are of three forts; fecret, private, and public. Now, 
1 will put fome qucftions to you in reference to each of 

I begin with thofe which we call fecret s ancVof tbero I 
lhall only name fecret reading of the fcriptures, and 
prayer, Lev. xviii. 5% Rom. x. 13. and in Deference to 
' thofe 1 fhall put two or three queftions to you. And, 
1. Are ye rieglcclers of fecret prayer ? Can ye rife in the 
morning, and go to your work, and never bow a knee to 
God ? To fuch we dare fay confidently, ye were never yet 
concerned about your foul's falvation. 2. Are ye ever 
concerned to know what fuccefs ye have in your prayers ? 
Moft part deal, I fear, by their prayers, as fome unnatural 
parents do by their children; they lay them down to o- 
thers, and never enquire what becomes of them, whether 
they die or live : which argues that they are not in earnefl 
in them.- We ever find the faints recorded in fcripture, in 
earnefl about the. acceptance and fuccefs of their prayers. 
3. Are all your fecret prayers, confined %o #ated : times, it 
may be morning and evening ? Or are you frequently 
breathing out your dc fires in ejaculations? Ifye»eg1e& 
thefe, it is a fad fign ye are not concerned about falvation. 
Ejaculations, I may fay, are the genuine effect of concern 
about falvation. Here I do not approve of thofe comrnoa 
forms that people ufe, to the great fcandal of religion 
and offence of God's people, God fave us, The, Lord deliver 
us, upon every turu. They furely argue want of concern 
about falvation, and want of due refped to God. Per- 
sons duly concerned about falvation, will fpeak of God 
With more fear and dread, cojnmonly i\fed in thefe 
expreflions, which, as they are ufed, are cert airily a- pal- 
pable breach of the third command. But when 1 fpeak oi 


Ejaculations, I mean thereby, affectionate and reverend de- 
fires Tent up to God about (alvation: and I believe there 
fhalj fcarce be found any really concerned about falva- 
tion, who are utter Grangers to them. 4. Doye neglect the 
reading of the word of God, or do ye not? Such of you 
as will not be at pains to learn to read the word of God, 
I can fcarce think you in earned concerned about (alva- 
tion, fince ye neglecl fo neceiTarjr a mean : at leafl 1 think 
ye have need to be very fure of the grounds ye lean upor, 
if ye conclude yourfelves really concerned about it, while 
ye neglect this duty. When people are not at pain* to 
read, or take not care to get the icripture read to them 
infecret^ if through age they be incapable, it is a fad 
fign of want of concern about falvation. 1 would defirc 
you to conflder ferioufly that one command given by God 
to his church of old, u He gave them his laws and ftatntes 
"Which if a man do, he fliall even live in them," Lev. 
zviii. 5. And he gives them a peremptory command how 
to ufc them, Deut. xu 18. — 20. u Ye (hall lay up thefc 
my words in your heart, and in your foul, and bind them 
for a fign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets 
between your eyes- j^and ye fliall teach them your children, 
peaking of them when thou fitted: in thine houfe, and 
when thou walked by the way, when thou liefl down, and 
when thou rifeft up z and thou {halt write them upon the 
door-pofts of thine houfe, and upon thy gates." Every 
where they were to have the law of God along with them. 
How they can be concerned duly about falvation, who 
neglecVthe ufe of that which God commands, and com- 
mands fp peremptorily, 1 do not well underftand. 5. Do 
ye take heed to what ye read ? Do ye learn to do all the 
words of the Lord ? or do ye endeavour to underfland 
what ye read,* In a word, are ye affe&ed with what ye 
read, or are ye not r If ye be not, then it is evidence e- 
nough, that ye are not concerned ferioufly about falvation, 
fo that ye are not folidly convinced of fin. If ye either 
neglecl the ufe of thefe means of falvation, or prove un- 
concerned as to the fuccefs of your ufe of them, it Is un- 
doubtedly fure that yet ye have not laid falvation to heart. 
I do not indeed fay but even the children of God maybe 
more remifa at feme times than at other times, but entire* 


]y to neglecl, or prove unconcerned, they cannot, n 
•deed can any that is laying falvatipn to heart. But, 
1 come in the fecond place, to inquire into your 
. gencc in your families. And here I (hall fay onl) 
things: i. This concern about fa 1 vat ion will make 
who have families careful in the performance of f 
duties, and thofe who are members of families caref 
attendance upon them. When once a man is ferious ; 
falvation, he will be fure to fet about thofe duties \ 
may any way contribute to his fafety and eftabliflu 
2. When a perfon is once concerned about falv; 
then there will fome regard be had to the fuccefs of 
duties, that is, fuch an one will take care to know 
ther he is better or worfe by the duties be follows. J 
bring thefe two home to your conferences: and let ra 
you, what confeience ye make of performing or of at 
in; to thefe duties > If ye either neglect them, or tur 
different as to the fuccefs of them, pad all peradver 
ye are in a dangerous condition* A man that fees 
felf in a ftate of mifery, and thinks ferioufly of falva 
will not be content to trifle in thefe duties which ha 
immediate, fo remarkable, an influence upon his et 
condition. If he negle&s them, then be lies open t 
fury of God, which, according to the prophet Jerein 
prayer, will fall upon the ** heathen, and the far 
that call not upon the name of God," Pi'al. lxxi 
Jer. x. Z£. If he prove remifs, he falls under the wc 
nounced again ft the deceiver, Mai. i. 14. u Cut ft 
the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and vo 
and facrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing." An 
thinks his cafe hard enough already, without the add 
of that new wrath. 

The lafl fort of means of falvation are fuch as are c 
public. A concern about falvation will difcover it ft 
reference to thefe many ways; of which we fhall 
name two or three. 1. It will make us lay hold up 
very opportunity of this fort. A man that is in great 
fi'er, and knows himfelf to be fo, will be fure to freq 
thofe: places which promife his fafety. 2. It will be 
tiifaAion and matter of joy to him that there are any 
opportunities, and that his cafe is not entirely defp* 
and hopclch. 3. When he comes to them, he will 


feave falvation in his eye, and greedily look what afpett 
every thing he hears and fees has upon his own falvation. 
4. He will not be fatisfied with any thing, unlefs lie fee 
how he may be faved. Now, is this your carriage whtir 
ye pretend to be concerned about falvation ? Do ye with 
fatisfadlion embrace every opportunity of the ordinances? 
Dj ye u joy when they fay to you, Let us go up to the 
hoafe of God?." Do ye keep your eye fixed upon falvation ^ 
Or, are ye more intent upon other things ? This is a good 
way to know whether ye be concerned about falvation or 
not. Now, to conclude this mark, 1 fay, that if ye do 
neglect, or carelefsly ufe the means of falvation, whether 
private, fee ret, or public, it difcovers your iinconcern- 
cJntfs about falvation. A man that has fallen into the 
fea, and is in hazard of drowning, will hafle towards eve- 
rything that may contribute to his fafety ; and when he 
comet near the (bore, he will not fpend time in obferving 
the form of the fhore, but its ufefulnefs to him: So a 
man that fees hrmfelf in danger of finking in the wrath of 
God, will look to all the means of falvation ; and that ' 
which his eye- will fix principally upon, will certainly be 
their ufefulnefs to him f elf. That duty, and that way and 
manner of performing it, that levels mod dire&ly at his faU 
ration, will pleaie him bed:. 1 (hall, in the 

7/A and laft place, put this one qn eft ion more, home tc* 
you for trial. Will fraall and ineonfiderable difficulties 
nuke you lay afide thoughts of falvation, or the ufe of the 
means ? If fo, it is a fad fign that they are not yet arrived 
at that concern which is the fruit of found conviction! 
One that is foundly convinced of fin, and is thence in* 
(faced to lay falvation to heart, will not ftop at any thing 
he meets with in his way: for he can fee no lion in the 
way, that is fo terrible as that wrath of God he fees pur- 
foing him : nor can he hear of any enjoyment, to make 
him turn back again, that is fo valuable as that falvation 
he fecks after. All hindrances that ye can meet with in the 
way to heaven, I mean fuch as are propofed for rational 
inducements to perfuade you to give over, may be reduced 
to one of two. The tempter muft either fay, Dcfift and 
quit thoughts of falvation, for ye will run a great haz- 
ard if ye ftep one ftep further j or if ye will defift, ye fhall 
lure this advantage or the other. But a folidly convin- 


eed finner has two queftions that are enough for ever t\ 
confound and file nee fuch propofal*. (i.) Ye tell me, tha 
if 1 hold on, I fhall meet with fuch a hazard ; I mull bt 
undervalued, reproached, oppofed, and, in fine, meei 
with all the ill treatment that the devil, the world, am 
fin can give me ? But now, Satan, I have one qtieftion tf 
propofe to you here : Are all thefe* taken together, as ill 
as damnation i if not, then I will hold on. But whereat, 
O tempter, (2.) Ye fav, then 1 fliall get this pleafure 01 
the other, ifldefiftand quit the way that Miavecfpon- 
fed, I alk you, is that pleafure as good as- eternal falva- 
lion ? or will it make damnation tolerable > Thefe twe 
queftions make afoul, that is really concerned about fal« 
vation, hold on in the diligent ufe of means.. A man, h 
ever he run, will then run, when he has happinefs in hi: 
eye, and mifery purfuing him ; and thus it- is with ever) 
(inner that is thoroughly awakened* and lays fa 1 vation tc 
heart ; therefore it is no wonder fuch an one refufe- to be 
difcouraged, er give over, whatever he meets Witfcin the 
way. But now, are there not among yoir, not afew who 
will be ftart led at the lead difficulty, and quit thoughti 
of the means of falvation* for very trifles ? This is a fa« 
c? idence that ye are not indeed folidly convinced of fin. 

Now, I have fhortly run through thefe particulars j 
and, in the conclufion r 1 inquire of every one of you, 

iflj Have ye applied thefe marks to your. own confei- 
tnees, as we went through them ? or, have you carelefsly 
beard them, as if ye had no concernment in them? To 
fuch of yon as have not applied them* I fay only, in fo 
many words, (1.) If ye wiM not judge yoorfelves, ye (ball 
furely be condemned of the Lord. When perfons will 
not try their cafe, it is a fure fign that matters are not 
right with them. (*.) We may fafely enough- determine, 
that ye are unconcerned about falvation, and fa ft aQeep 
in your fins, nay, dead in them* (3.) Ye will come to 
fuch a fen fib le determination of your eftate, ere it be long, 
as will force you to think upon thefe things with feriouf- 
nefs, but not with Satisfaction. But to fuch a* have been 
applying thefe marks as we went along, in the 

zd place, I propofe this queftion, Do ye find upon trial 
that ye have indeed been laying falvation to heart above 
all things, or that yet ye are not in earnefl about it ? 1 



beg it of you, nay, Iobteft you, to deal impartially wuh 
your fools ; and I am lure ye may come to undc: fraud 
how it is with you* This qucition, if fairly applied, will 
divide you into two forts J. Such as are not laying fal- 
vation to heart, and fo have not been convinced of fin. 
ft. Such as are really concerned about falvation, and are 
with the jailor, faying, What mujl Id) to bt faved ? 

I (hall conclude this doctrine in a thort addreis to ttefe 
two (orts of perfons ? and then proceed to the apcftlc'* 
tnfwer to the jailor's qn eft ion. 

1 begin with the ftr/L Such of you as are not cony in* 
ced of fin, and therefore do not lay falvation to heart* 
Are there any fuch miferable wretches here ; after all that 
has been faid > No doubt there are ; and I fear that the 
moft part are fuch. To you I fay, 

1. Whence is it that ye are not convinced of your fin and 
mifery, which has been fo plainly, and at fo great length, 
inculcated upon you? Surely it mud be upon one of three 
accounts ; either, firft, Ye have not heeded what has 
been faid ; or, fecondly^ Ye have not believed it ; or^ 
thirdly i Ye have fonie one falfe defence or other, unto 
which ye lean. Now, becaufe this is a matter of no fmall 
moment both to you and us, we mall here difcourfe a lit* 
tie of thefe three* It is of great moment to you to be 
undeceived here, becaufe a deceit here will ruin you eter- 
nally ; and it is of great moment to us, becaufe, unlefs 
we get you undeceived in this matter, we lofe all our 
.pains in holding forth Chrift, and the way of falvation by 
him. - Perfons who are not convinced of fin, will, paft all 
peradventure, make light of Chrift, and refufe him. 

(x.) Then, I fhall fpeak a word to fuch as have not ta- 
ken heed to, or regarded what has been faid for their con- 
viaion. I make no doubt but there are fome fuch here, 
. whofe hearts have been, with the fool's eyrs, in the cornert 
of t^e earth, and who have fear ce been thinking all the 
while what they were hearing. Your coafciences can tell 
you whether this has been your practice ; and if it has, 
then I fay, 1. It is indeed no wonder that ye do not lay 
falvation to heart, that ye are not convinced of no ; (inct 
ye will not hear what will ferve for convicVien, and is de- 
figned that way. 2. 41 Do ye thus requite the Lord, O 
foolilh and unwife }" Has God condescended fo far t 
N a ^ 


you, that he has fent his fervants to you, and ye will not 
be at the pains to give them a hearing? How do ye think 
would your mailer or your ruler take it, fhould ye deal 
thus by him? If when he were fpeaking to. you,, either 
himfelf or by his fervants, ye were turning away your 
ear from him ; would he not refent it highly * And has 
God any reafon to bear with an indignity at your hand,, 
tfiat^your matter would .not fuffer ? 3. Ye have reafon- to 
admire that he has not turned you before now into he lit 
This would effectually have convinced you, and repaired 
the injured honour and glory of God* 4. 1 fay to you,, 
ye have loft an opportunity ; and none can a flu re you 
that ever ye- {hall have the like again. God may give 
over driving with you,, and never more attempt your 
conviction : and woe to you, when he departs from you* 
5. I fay, ye have flighted God's command, which enjoins 
you to u take heed how ye hear, and what ye hear,** 
Mark iv. 24. Luke viir. 18. It is not for nothing that 
our Lord enjoins both to obferve the matter and manner 
of hearing : as he gave thofe commands,, fo he will take 
care that they be not flighted. He will avenge himfelf of 
thofe who defpife his authority in them* And therefore I 
fay, 6. If ye refufe a little longer to hear, then it is like,. 
nav, it is certain, he will fpeak to you -himfelf, and make 
you take heed, if not to what you hear, yet to what ye 
{hall feel, to your eternal difquietment t he will fpeak to 
you in wrath, and vex you in his hot difpleafure. A re- 
markable fcriptnre to this purpofe we have, Ezek. xiv. 7. 
44 For every one of the houfe of tfrael, or of the ftran- 
ger that fojourneth in Ifrael, which feparateth himfelf; 
from me, and fets up his idols in his heart, and putteth 
the ftumbling-block of his iniquity before his face r aod ; 
cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me, I 
the Lord will anfwer him myfelf I" A fet of people there 
was in the prophet's days, who were his hearers ; and 
they came under # pretence of hearing or inquiring into the 
mind of God r but they were but mocking God, as ye 
have done, and di4 not regard what was faid to them by 
the prophet. Well, the Lord will no more deal with 
them by the prophet, but will take them into his own im- 
mediate haftid, and deal with them by himfelf. The words 
jj) the firft language run thus : 44 J the Lord * it fhall be 



gnfwered to him in me. I will not let any anfwcr him 
hot myfelf." As if he had faid, My fervants sire too mild 
to deal with fuch wretches as mock me; I will not an- 
swer them any more with words ; I will give over fpeak- 
ing to them, and will anfwer them by deeds, and that not 
of mercy, but of judgment. Now, think on it in time, 
how terrible your, condition is like to be, if God ilia II 
fay to you, I have fpoken to thefe wretches, and laid their 
fins before them, by. my fervants ; but their hearts have 
been fo taken up with their idols, that they have not 
heeded them: I will therefore fpeak to them by terrible 
deeds* " I will fet my face againft them, and will make 
them a fign and a proverb: and I will cut them off from 
the mid ft of my people : and ye lhaU know that 1 am the 
Lord,** as it follows in ver. 8. of that forecited chapter. 
1 leave you to think upon thefe things, and proceed, 

(a.) To fpeak to fuch as therefore are not convinced, 
becaufe they did not believe what they Have heard upon 
this head. I make no doubt that there are not a few 
ftich herei nay, I nay fay, that all who are not convin- 
ced, and awakened to a ferious confideration of their flate 
and condition, owe their fecurity and unconcernednefs to 
this woeful unbelief, that is a fin pregnant with all other 
fins, that alone has in it whatever is hateful to God, or 
deftruclive to the foul of man. To Inch as have heard, 
but do not believe, we fay, l. Ye have not refufed our 
teftimony, but the teftimony of God, who cannot lie : 
and he that believeth net the record of God, bath made 
him a liar : than which none can charge a greater Impiety 
upon the holy God, who values hirnfclf upon this, that 
he cannot lie, which is peculiar to God only ; for how- 
ever there be of the creatures that do not lie, yet of none of 
them can it be faid, that they cannot lie ; this is God's 
fole prerogative, a. Ye have (hut your eyes upon clear 
light. Your fin and mifery have been fet before you in 
the cleared light, the light of God's word. The matter 
has not been minced, but ye have been plainly and freely 
dealt with upon this head : therefore ye need to look well 
to yourfelves, that God ftrike you not judicially blind. 
This he is frequently wont to do to thofe who refift clear 
light ; he leaves them to Satan, the god of this world, to 
bUnd their eyes, and gives them up to " ftrou& deiuXum* 


to believe lies, that they may all be damned that believe 
not. 9 ' 3. We did call on heaven and hell, the Creator, 
and the whole creation, as witnetfes of that certain and 
fad truth, that man has u finned and come fhortof the 
glory of God." I know not one witnefs more but fcnfej 
and fince no lefs is like to do, take care that fcnfie of mi* 
fery do not convince yon of its truth. Hell will make 
you, even the mod incredulous of you, believe, and treat* 
ble too, as the devils and damned do. 

(3.) I come now to difcourfe to thofe.who therefore arte 
not convinced of fin, or induced to lay fa 1 vat ion to heart, 
notwithftanding the pains taken on them,.becaufe tbejT 
have defended themfelvei a gain ft the force of the truths 
propofed, by fome fhifts, which upon occafion they ufe 
for quieting or keeping quiet their conferences. Of this 
fort I fear there are many, too many here prefent ; and 
thefore 1 ihall deal more particularly aad clofely with fuch. 
We have laid before you all your fin and mifery ; but few 
are yet awakened; few fay wilh the jailor in. the textj 
What mufl I do to be Javeif Whence is it fo ? Has not fin 
been laid open to your view ? Has not the fad but certain 
truth, that u all have finned and come fhort of the glory 
of God," been plainly demo nfl rated from many incontef- 
tible evidences ? Nay more, has not the particular. con* 
cernment of every one ot us in this truth been plainly 
unfolded ) Yes, no doubt : but whence is it, then, that 
the mod part are fo fecure? that there is fo little feaT of 
hell, wrath, and damnation, amongft: us; Are there none 
here who have reafon to fear it ? No doubt, there are 
many, too many fuch amongft us: but here it lies, when 
the truth is prefled home upon the conference, we have 
a ftrange way of putting divine truths away from us. 
Now, I fhall lay open the nakednefs of thefe fences, 
behind which mod of us fcreen ourfelves from convic- 

l. When fin and mifery are discovered, 'fome there are, 
amongft the hearers of the gofpel, who take with the 
charge. If we fay to them, as Nathan did to David, in 
the application of the parable, Thou art the man, thou 
art the woman, that has finned, that art in danger of the 
eternal wrath of God. O ! then, anfwers the finwer, it 
Is very true what ye tell 1 I have finned 1 and God be 



■ Jbereifol to us, we are all Tinners ; I hope God will be 
merciful to me. And there the wound is fk'umed over as 
foon as made, and the perfon is heal. This is the re uge 
to which many of you betake yourfelves.. But we (hall 
pur foe you to the horns of God's altar, an 1 fetch you 
down thence. Ye fay, God is merciful. 1 fay, (i.) It is 
▼ery true, he is fo. The Lord has long fince proclaimed 
his name, u The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gra* 
cious ; and he delights in fuch as hope in his mercy," 
Pfal. cxlvir. n. But, (2,) Notwithstanding of the mercy 
of God, there are but few that fliall be faved, Luke xiii. 
23. Now, who has told you, that ye (hall be among that 
few? Ye fay, ye hope to be among that few y who (hall 
fmd mercy ; and 1 fear ye (hall not. Now, whether ape 
your hopes or my fears be ft grounded } 1 can give fome 
account of my fears; but I doubt if ye can give any of 
your hopes. I fay T I fear that many of you will be damn- 
ed 5 for, as I (aid before, there are but few that (half be 
feved ; and thefc few are all penitent finners r who- have 1 
been convinced of fin and mifery,, and hare laid falvatien 
to heart above all things, and have accepted of Chrift up* 
on the gof pel-terms. Now,, it is obvious that there are 
but very few of you of this fort; and our Lord has faid 
pofitively, "That he who believeth not, fliall not fee 
life, but fliall be damned. 19 Now, where are the grounds 
of yo«r hopes ? : Ye fey, God is merciful; and I anfwer, 
he is juflr alfo? and his juftice has as fair a plea again ft you r 
as his mercy has for you. Ye fay, he has faved fome tin- 
ners, and therefore hope he will have mercy upon you. I 
aofwer, he has damned more than he has had mercy up- 
on ; and therefore he may deal fo with you too. O but, 
fay ye, I cannot think that God will be fo •ruel as to 
damn me. I anfwer, what more cruelty will it be to 
damn you, than to damn the heathen world ? What more 
cruelty to damn you,, than to damn the generality of un- 
believers, which make the far greater part of the hear- 
er* of the gofpel? In fin m is it cruelty to damn you, who 
have innumerable fins, when it was none,. God thought it 
none, to fend fo many angels into belt for one fin ? Is it 
cruelty to punilh you, who have neglected the means of 
fa I vat ion, when others have been damned that never had 
them I Who would fay the prince were cruel, or wanted 


mercy, who caufed the threatened pun.lhment to be exe-- 
cuted againft obftinate offenders > Now, where are alt 
your hopes from the mercy of God ? I tell you, there are 
thoufands this day in hell, who have been ruined by fuch; 
prefumptiiona hopes of mercy ; and I fear there are many 
more who fhall be fo, ere all be done. 

2. Ochers, again, when beat from this defence, betake 
themfelves to another not one whit better: O fay they r 
we are in no danger, for we believe in the Lord Jefus 
Chrift. I anfwer, (i.) It is very true, they who do be- 
lieve are indeed out of all hazard. But I fay, (2.) Are ye 
fure ye believe? Many have been miftaken ? and are ye 
fure that ye are in the right. The foolilh virgins thought 
themfelves believers, and, it may te, went a further 
length than ye can pretend to have gone ; as ye may fee r 
if ye look into the parable, Matth. xxv. 1. They had pro- 
feffions, they had lamps ; upon the bridegroom's call,, 
they awake, and endeavour to trim their lamps to make 
them fhine; . they are- convinced of theVr want of oil* 
and endeavour to .get it; and yet were eternally (hut 
out from the prefenue of God* Now, with what face dare 
any of you pretend to believe,, when ye come not up that 
length that we havejuft now let you fee ethers come, and 
yet perifhr Are there not among you, who will fay ye 
believe, and yet can get drunk, can fwear, mock religion, 
and entertain a heart-hatred at fuch as go beyond you in> 
tyridtnefs, can ridicule them,, and call them hypocrites) V 
fear there may be fome fuch amongft y ou. I tell you, ye 
have no faith but fuch as may go to hell with you. u Faith, 
works b? love ;" it is a heart-purifying grace, and difco- . 
vers [tfelf by a eourfe of obedience, according to that of 
the apoftle James, " Shew me thy faith without thy 
works, and 1 will fhew thee my faith by my works," 
James ii. 18. (3.) Ye fay ye believe. When did ye be- 
lieve } Did ye always believe ? Yes, we always did be- 
lieve. Say yeu f o } O horrid ignorance 2 Ye fay, ye 
did always believe. I fay, ye did never to this day be- 
lieve; for we are not born believers, but unbelievers ^ 
and if ye think that ye did always believe, it is- proof e« 
nough, that to this day ye are flrangers to the precious 
faith of God's elecl. I (lialL not at prefent infift in dis- 
covering the folly of fuch a pretence to faith, becaufe I 



frail have occafion, if the Lord will, afterwards to dii- 
courfe more at length of faith, and of the difference be- 
twixt it and tbofe counterfeits of it whereon many do 
rely. Only I fay at prtfent, that where faith is, it will 
lead to concern about falvation, and will lay hold upon 
the difcoveries of fin ; and that faith which is not endea- 
vouring to get the foul in which it dwells more and more 
convinced of, and humbled for fin, is to be fufpeded. 

3. When (in is held forth, and the law preached, then 
others will flielter themfelves under the fig-leaf of their 
own blamelefs walk. Come to fame ofthofe who have all 
their days lived in a (late of eftrangement and alienation 
from God, and pofe them, when they lie upon a fick-bed, 
or a death-b;d, as to their date, they will fay, they hope 
all is well ; they (hall J»s faved, they never did any body 
ill ; and therefore they never feared the wrath of God. 
Woe's me that there is any fo grofsly ignorant, in a 
church that has been bleued with more clear and fatisfying 
difcoveries of God's mind and will, than mod churches in 
the world. Ye fay, ye have done no man any injury, and 
therefore ye will be faved. 1 anfwer, ye have injured God, 
and therefore ye will be damned. Ye fay, ye have inju- 
red no mao. I anfwer, ye understand not well what ye 
fay, otherwtfe ye ihould not have the confidence to talk 
at the rate ye do. " (i.) Ye have injured all with whom 
ye have converfed, in whom ye are concerned, in as far 
as ye have not laid out yourfelf in paying the debt ye owe 
them. ?Love is a debt we owe to ail, Rom. xiii. 8. and 
he that has never evidenced his love to them, in a ferious 
concern about their falvation, is extremely injurious to 
them, in as far as he detains from them that which is 11 n- 
qaeftionably their due; and, pad all peradventure, he 
that was never ferious about his own falvation was never 
really concerned about the falvation of others ; and there- 
fore has detained from them what was their undoubted 
right. (2.) DkJft thou never fee thy brother fin ? No 
doubt thou halt. Well then, didft thou reprove him > 
1 fear not. Yea, many of this fort of perfons can, it may 
be, fee their children, wives, fervants, and neareft rela- 
tions, commit grofs a£ts of fin, and yet never reprove 
them. Is it not fo with many of you ? I am fure ye 
cannot deny it. Well, is not this a real injury done to 


the perfons ye fhould bave reproved > It is a hating them 
in your heart. God bimfelf fays fo ; and fore his judg- 
ment is according to truth, Lev. xix. 17. u Thou fhalt 
not hate thy brother in thy heart x thou (halt in any ways 
rebuke thy neighbour, and not fufFer fin upon him." In 
fifte, with what confidence dare ye (ay, ye have done no 
»ia*i an injury, when by a traft of fin, ye have been doing 
the utmoftye could to bring down the wrath of a fin-re* 
venging God upon, and upon all who live with 
you in the fame fociety ? 

4. Others, when purfued by the difcoveries of fin f 
get in behind the church-privileges, and think there to 
fcreen themfelves from the wrath of God, Thus it was 
with the wretches fpoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, 
in that 7th ^chapter of his book ; they did (leal, murder, 
commit adultery, fwear falfely, burn incenfe unto Baal* 
Well, the Lord threatens them with wrath, bids them 
amend their ways and their doings: but they fat (till 
fecure and unconcerned, never affected either with the 
difcovery of fin, or with threatenings of wrath. What 
is the matter ? Have the men no feafe of hazard at 
all? They could not altogether fhut their eyes upon 
the clear difcoveries the prophet made of their fins to 
them, or of that consequential mifery he did threaten 
them withal; but they lheltered themfelves behind their 
church-privileges, and they cry out to him, u The tem- 
ple of the Lord* the temple of the Lord, the temple of 
the Lord are thefe," ver. 4. And 1 make no doubt but it 
is fo with fome of you. It may be, ye reafon as Ma- 
noah did in another cafe, « If the Lord defigheth to 
damn us, he would not have given us ordinances as he has 
done." Now, I only offer two or three things that will 
fufficiently expofe the weaknefs of this defence or hiding- 
place. And, (1.) I fay, ye may indeed reafon thus:. 
God has eftablifhed gof pel-ordinances, the figns of his pre- 
sence among ft us; therefore he will fave fome. He. will 
not bring .the means of grace without doing fome good 
by them. Yet, (2.) I fay, ye cannot thence infer, that 
he will fave you: for, [ۥ] Many who have had the gof-. 
pel-ordinances have been damned, [a.] It is not the ha- 
ving, but the improving of them, that faves any. £3.] To 
lean upon them is the word mifiatfrovement of them 

^Qflible s 


poflible ; and therefore take care that yetruft not in ly- 
ing words, faying, " The temple of the Lord, the tem- 
ple cf the Lord are thefe." 

5. Others, finding no fbelter from their convictions 
Ure, betake themfelves to their good duties. We tell 
them, they are fioners, and Jay open to their eyes their 
miferable and wretched condition and Hate; ihey tirn 
their eyes to their duties, and, like the Pharifee l'pok^n 
of by our Lord, Luke xviii. 11. they will Hop the mouth 
cf confeience, with an enumeration t:f dheir pert'orm- 
snees, whereby they excel others. True it is, will inch 
z:\ one fay, I have finned; but, on the other hand, 1 am 
not guilty of grofs out-breakings, and frrndulous (ins ; 
ray, more, I am much and frequent in the performance 
rf the duties of religion, I pray, 1 fad, 1 communicate, 
and a great many other things 1 do j g;;d there foe 1 hope 
to get heaven, notwithftanding all my fins. O how r.a. 
tural Ss it for a man to prefer a defenct lefs hiding-place 
of his own contrivance, to the impregnable city of re- 
fuge contrived by infinite wifdom and grace ; the home- 
Tpun robe of his own, to the heaven-wrought role of 
thrift's righteoufuefs ? Here many o! you hide youifilves ; 
I pray, 1 read, I feek unto God, and therefore all is well. 
A fad conclufion I To this plea I anfwer, (1.) If ye 
Qiould ditiblve in tears, pray till your knees grow into 
the ground, and give all ye have in alms, and fad every 
day, all this will not atone for one fin. (2.) Your bell 
duties do but iucreafe your guilt. This the church well 
faw, Ifa. Ixiv. 6. ** We are all as an unclean thing, and 
all our right eoufnefTcS are as filthy rags," (3.) Good du- 
ties when reded on, have damned many, but never did, 
nor ever (ball, fave any. To Jean to them, is to fay to the 
work of our hands, ye are our god's ; a fin that the Lord 
forbids and abominates. 

6. Another fort of per fons, when convictions get held 
of them, and their fin and mifery are plainly and clearly 
difcovered to them, get in behind their good refolutions, 
and thereby they (belter tbemfelves. They refolve to 
conGder of this matter at a more convenient feafon, like 
Felix, who diftnifTed Paul, when once he came to deal 
clofely with him, and prom i fed him a hearing afterwards. 
So do many, when they are almofl convinced^ they difmifi 


ronvieVions, and promife to hear them afterwards* Now? 
1 ih a 1 1 addrefs inyfelf to fuch in a few ferious expoftulatory 
qucftions. And, (i.) I inquire at you, is the confi derati- 
on of fin and .mifery, and of your efcape from it, a bufi- 
nefs to be delayed ? Is there any thing that ye can be con- 
cerned about that deferves to be preferred to this } Is 
.there any hazard like damnation } any mercy comparable 
■to fa I vat ion from -the -wrath of God*? If a man gain a 
world, and lofe his foul, is he profited by the exchange ? 
(2.) Who is the better judge of the moft convenient occa- 
sion, God or you } He has determined the prefentopportuni- 
xy to be the bed-: u Now is the accepted time, now is the 
day of falvation." (3.) Wnen art thou refolved to take 
under ferious confideraiion thy fin and mifery, that now 
ihou fhifteft the thoughts of? Ye rauft fureljr fay, 
<that it will be-fome time after this. But now I aJk yov 4 
what certainty have ye of fuch a time ? and what cer- 
tainty have ye, that ye (hall then have the* means that are 
neceflary in order to this end ? I believe ye dare not fajt, 
that ye are fure of either. (4.) Sure iam, fome who in 
the fame manner have made many fair promifes and refo- 
lutions, have thereby cheated thenfeWcs out of their 
fouls. But, 

7. Another fort get in behind their own ignocan-ce, 
and think to (belter tbemfelves there. They prom iff 
themfelves fafety, though they be not concerned about 
falvation, becaufe they are 'but ignorant. God, fay they, 
may deal with others that know better things* 
but for roe,, I hope he will have mercy upon me, becaufe 
I know no better. With what aftoni filing confidence have 
we heard fome plead this ! Ye fay, ye are ignorant, and 
therefore God will have mercy upon you. I fay, yc are 
ignorant, and therefore God will have no mercy upon 
you, lfa. xxvii. 11. Ye are ignorant; but whofe fault 
is it ? Has not God given you the means of knowledge ? 
Has not the light of the glorious go f pel mined clearly a- 
bout you > Have not others got knowledge by the uftof 
the very fame means which ye have neglecled and flighted? 
This is a common excufe for fins, but a moft unhappy one 
as ever any meddled withal ; for, (1.) God has txprefsly 
•told us, that ignorant people fhall be damned, 2 Thef. 
J. 8, p. (2.) He has told us, that ignorance will be the 



ground of the fen ten ce. This is the condemnation of igno- 
rant tinners, that they love "darknefs rather than light,"' 
John iii. 19. Nor will it excufe you to tell that ye want 
time ; for, [1.] AIL other things (hould give place to this: 
"Seek ririt the kingdom of God, and the righteoufnefc 
thereof," and other things will come in their own room 
and place, [au] Others have had as little time as ye have,. 
who yet have taken care of their fouls, and have got th«* 
knowledge of God.- [3.] Ye lofe as much time upon tri- 
fles, or doing nothing, as might bring you to a compe- 
tent meafure of the knowledge of thefe things which do 
belong to your peace, were it but frugally manage J ; i\> 
that this will be found to be a weak defence, try it who 
will. And yet here a great many lhelter themfelve?, and that 
two ways ; (1.) Hereby a great many are not capable to 
under (land what we fpeak to them about their fin or their 
danger, and fo we hive no accefs to them to convince 
them. (2.) Others do think, that their ignorance will 
atone for their^ofhers faults ; and this is a fancy fo deep- 
ly rooted in die thoughts of many, that nothing is like to 
cure them of it, till the appearance of the Lord Jefus, for 
their deftruelion who know not God, do it. 

8* There is one defence more, whereby forne put off 
convincing imceveries of -frii-i and that is, by comparing 
tbemfelves with others. When it is borne clofe hoir* 
upon their conferences, that they are in a (late of ex- 
treme danger, then they fay, Well, one thing I am fure 
of, it is like to fare no worfe with me than with others; 
and if I be damned, many others will be fo befides me. O 
de(perate r and yet common defence I 

Thou fay eft, if thou be damned, then many others are 
like to be fo. Well, it /hall indeed be f o ; many ihali 
indeed perifli eternally, as ye heard before. But,(i.) What 
will this contribute to yeur advantage M make no doubt 
but company will contribute exceedingly to the bleAednef; 
of the faints above : but I cannot fee what folace or com- 
fort the damned can have from their companions ; nay, 
pad: all perad venture, this will enhance their mifery, their 
cafe being fuch as can admit of no alleviation. (2.) Know- 
eft thou, O (inner! what thou fayeft, when thou talkeft: 
at that rate? It is plainly to fay, I will hazard the i/Tue, 
be what it wills than which nothing c&tibt mwt e&ttfe- 

160 MAN'i RECOVERY BY FAITH IN CHRIST.' anJ fcolifh. Art thou willing to hazard eternaf 
wrath? Can yt dwell with everlafting burnings ? Can ye 
dwell with devouring flf.mts? If there be any fuch an one 
here, as is refoived to hold on at this rate, and hazard tbc 
iflTue, 1 have a few queftions to pnt to him. I3 there any 
thing in the world worth the fetking after, that ye would 
defire to be fure of ? If there be any fuch thing, then I 
pcfe ycu on it, if there le any thing comparable to falva- 
tion ? If ye fay, there is, then I enquire further, is there 
any thing that will go with you af\er this life is dene? Is 
th-re any thing that -Jiill make up your lofs, if ye lofe, 
your fouls? what will be able to relieve yon under the 
( xtre;nity of the wrath of a fin-revenging God ? Again, 
when ye lay, ye will hazard the iffue, then I defire to 
know of you, do rot ye think it as probable that ye 
ihall be dammed, as that >e fhall be faved > Sure yt 
have reafon to think fo indeed. A perfon fo little con- 
cerned aboi't ialvation, nuift think God has a very fmall 
cAtem of falvatior, if he throw it away upon futh a« 
care not for i*:. F.nallj', fince ye are likely to be damn* 
ed in the iffi.r, have ye ever thought what damnation 
imports? 1 beli- ve not. I (hall only refer you to that 
Iikm t account of it, which ihe final doom of impenitent 
Turners gives of it, in Ma:tb. xxr. 41. " Depart from me* 
ye curfed, julO everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and 
hii» angel:." 

I cannot now enter upon the confideration of many 0- 
ther pretences, whereby finners Ihcltcr themfelves from 
convictions: only I wifii ye may rivet upon your hearts 
three truths, which will help to preferve you fiom laying 
weight upon them. (1.) Be perfuaded, that there are but 
few that will be faved. Chrift has faid fo, and who dare 
p/ive him the lie ? (a.) Believe it, they who fliall be faved, 
(hall not le faved in an eafy way. The u righteous are 
fcarcely faved," 1 Pet. iv. 18. (3.) Ye are to endeavour 
a folid conviction, that there is no falvation for you, 
but in the gofp^Kway, Acts iv. 12. Underftand and be- 
lieve thefe three truths, and this will be a mean to pre- 
ferve you from a reliance upon things that cannot profit. 
And this for the fir ft word we defigned to fuch of you as 
are not convinced of fin and mifery. 

2.dly } To fuch of you as are not yet awakened, as are 


not yet convinced of /our loft and undone (late, I fay, ye 
have reafon to fear that ye (hall never be awakened and 
convinced. There is ground to fear that Cbrift has faid 
to you, " Sleep on :" and if it be fo, then the thunder- 
iags of the law, the dill and calm voice of the gofpel, 
the rnoft fweet and charming providences, yea, the in oil 
terrible threaten! ngs of providence, (hall never be able to 
open your eyes, or make you conftder and lay to heart 
the things that belong to your peace ; but ye (hall fleep 
on in your fecurity, till the wrath of God ccrae upon you 
to the uttcrmoft. But it may poffibly be, that fome whofe 
cafe this is, {hall fay or think, or at lead carry, as if they 
thought there was no danger of this at all. But I aflure 
foch, whatever their thoughts may be, there is great 
hazard of this. For, 

i. God has taken much pains upon yon already, to 

bring you to a fenfe of your fad ftate and condition ; 

but he has not dealt Co with others. He has not dealt 

fo with many of the heathen nations; he has not dealt fo 

with many who have been taken away fuddenly after their 

refufal of the firft offer of the gofpel ; he has not^ealt 

fo with not a few others, who have had the gofpel-light 

quickly taken from them, upon their refufal of it. As 

for the way of God's dealing with the heathen, there is 

bo place to doubt of it ; and that the Lord has not dealt 

fo with, or been at fo great expence, either of time or 

means, with others, is plain in your own experience. 

Tell me, O unoers ! have not many been fnatched away 

by death from- the advantage and ufe of the ordinances, 

fince the Lord began to deal with you in order to your 

conviction ? Sure, few of you can deny it : and that the 

Lord did allow others a fhorter time of the ordinances, 

is no left plain from manifold evidences, both in fcripture 

and in the experience of the church in all ages. Ye have 

had more time than Capernaum, and many other places 

where Chrift preached, in the days of his perfonal minif- 

try upon earth. 

2. Ye have reafon to fear this terrible iflue, if ye confix 
e'er the way that the Lord has taken with you* He has 
not refted in a general difcovery of either your fin or 
danger, but has dealt particularly with everyone of yon, 
is ii were by same and firname ; be has fpokta, oaxttau 


larly to you, by hi* word and by his providences. In his 
name we have dealt particularly with young and old of 
you; and by bis providences he has been no lefsparticn- 
lar. What perfon, what family, has not, either in them- 
felves or in their relations, felt the ftroke of God's 
hand } which tells all upon whom- it light?, that tiny 
44 have finned, and come lliort of the glory of God." 1 
believe there is fcarce one in this houfe who has not fmart- i 
ed this way. So that fcarce is there one arnongft us who 
hc.s not withftood particular dealings of God for his con- i 
viclion : and this is a fufficient ground to fear that «« 
may never be convinced, fince all the ways that God is* fc 
went to take, are ekher general, when he deals with a 
perfon in common, by a propofal of fuck things as lay 
open the fin and mifery of all in general; or particular,, 
when he makes a fpecial- application of the general charge, 
either by his word, or by his providence, and fays, a* 
Nathan did, u Thou art the man:" and what can bedorje 
more for your conviftion in the way of means } 

3. He has not only ufed thefe ways and means mention* 
ed, Jbtit has waited kng upon you in the ufe of the means* 
even from the morning of your day till now. Many, if 
not all of you, have had precept upon precept, and lina 
upon line, here a little and there a little. • Chrift has ri- 
fe a up early, and dealt with you,, by fending one meflen- 
ger after another, one preaching after another, one pro- 
vidence after another, and yet ye are not convinced and 
awakened. This fuggefls great grounds to fear the if-, 
fue, if it be confidered, 

4. That the Spirit of God,, though he may long drive 
with ft nners, yet will not arways ftrive with them, Gen. 
vi. 6. " And the Lord faid t My Spirit fhall not always 
ftrive with man, for that he is alfo flefh ;" as if the 
Lord had faid, 1 have long dealt with thefe pen,, by an 
awakening miniftry, by awakening difpen fat ions, \y the 
inward motions of my Spirit, by checks of their own 
confeiencej to convince them of their fin and danger, and 

Tto reform them: but now 1 find all means ineffectual, they 
are entirely corrupt; therefore I will convince them ao 
more. I will fpare them till they fill up their cup, and 
be fattened againft the day of (laughter ; but will never 
more convince them, or endeavour their, conviction. 



And who can tell, but the Lord has this day pronounced 
die like fentence againft the unconvinced Turners of Ceres, 
or fame of them? Yonder is a people with whom I have 
long driven, by the word, by providences, by motions of 
my Spirit, and by fecret checks of. conic ience, and yit 
they are not awakened, are not convinced: therefore I 
will drive no longer with them ; 1 will either take them 
away with a deluge of wrath, as I did the old world ; or I 
will take my ordinances from them, as I have done from 
other churches ; or I will give my fervants a commiflion 
to make their ears heavy, their hearts fat, and their eyes 
blind ; and I will pronounce the barren iig.tree's. curie 
againft them. And that all this is not a mere empty Lug. 
bear, fet up on pnrpnfe to frighten you, will appear evi- 
dent, if it be confidered, 

£. That this is the dated meafure, the ordinary way, 
that the Lord has laid down, for proceeding with per Tons 
in that cafe; as ye will fee, if ye turn over to that ter* 
, rible fcripture, Heb. vi. 7,8. " The earth which drink- 
eth in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth 
forth herbs meet for them by which it is drefTed, re- 
cetveth blefling from God ; but that which beareth thorns 
»»d briers, is rejected and nigh unto curfing, whofe end 
is to be burned." Here is the dated and ordinary rule 
of God*s difpenfation with finners, who live under a gof- 
-jiel-difpenfdtiopi.; and that both with fuchas improve and 
with fuch as mifimprove it. The way that God takes with 
•the firft fort, the improvers of it, is this : He gives them 
the means, his word and ordinances, which, like the rain, 
.come down from heaven, and have a fructifying efficacy, 
when the.y fall upon good ground ; and, upon their bring- 
ing forth good fruit, called fruit that is meat for the ufe 
of him that dreffeth it, he bletfeth them. On the other 
hand, we have the carriage of God toward the red, and 
their cariiage toward him, pkinly enough reprefented un- 
to us ; which I fhall fet before yon in a few particulars. 
(1.) God gives their, ss well as others, frequent fhowers ; 
he givts-them fometimes the means, and that in great 
plenty.. (2.) The generality of them ufe the means ; both 
the one fort and the other is fuppofed to drink in the 
rain > for there is no doubt, that thofe who openly reject 
the cotuifcl of God agaloft themfelycs^ as the Pharifecs 


and Scribes did of old, Luke vii. 30. (hall be burnt up 
with unquenchable fire. (3.) Though this fort of perfons 
we are now (peaking of drink in the rain, as did the o- 
ther, yet herein are they differenced, they bring not 
forth fruit meet for the ufe of him by whom they were 
thus watered ; but, on the contrary, they bring forth 
briers and thorns : That is, plainly, the discoveries of (in 
fin did not convince them, the difcoveries of danger did 
not awaken them, the influences of grace did not quicken 
them, but rather made them more ftupid, more dead an* 
unconcerned. (4.) Upon this account the Lord rejects 
them ; that is, he either gives over dealing with them en* 
tirely, or at lead withdraws his bleffing from the means* 
(5.) During the time of his forbearance, they are nigh un- 
to curfing ; there is nothing to keep the curfe of God 
from them; it is fad upon its approach to them; they lie 
open to it, and are dedined to the curfe. Therefore, 
(6.) He burns fuch in the end. This, O finnersi is the 
ordinary way of the Lord's dealing with you. And now 
fee and confider your own concernment in this: The Lord 
as was faid before, has often rained down upon you ; ye 
hive pretended to receive theCe (bowers, have been wait- 
ing upon the means ; but have not brought forth good 
fruit ; nay, on the contrary, ye have brought forth briers 
and thorns; what reafon have ye then to dread the con- 
fequence? Have ye not reafon to fear that ye arc reject- 
ed, and fo nigh unto curling, and that therefore your 
end is to be burned? And that all this may not appear 
groundlefs, i offer this to your confideration, 

6. As God has laid down the rule jud now mentioned, 
as that by which he has walked, and will walk, with all 
to whom he gives the gofpe), i mean for ordinary; fo in 
his providence we find him dealing accordingly with (in- 
nera. I (hall only lay before you two or three inftances 
of God's dealing with fin ners according to this rule. The 
firft. is that of the old world. The Lord did deal long 
and particular by them, by the preaching of Noah, in or- 
der to their conviction : they were not convinced, but 
rather grew worfe and worfe; whereupon the Lord re- 
jected them, gave over driving with them : and though he 
f pared them, Gen. vi. 3. yet it was not on a deflgn of 
mercy, but only to fuffcr thcity to fill up their cup, that 



they might be without excufe, and that their condemna- 
tion "might be the more terrible. The fecond iuftance is 
that of the church of the Jews in our Lord's time. He 
preached to them, and endeavoured their con virion ; but 
they were not convinced; therefore he rejecls them: and 
though they had a while's refpite, yet things that did be- 
long to their peace were now eternal'y hid from their 
eyes, Luke xix. 41, 42. as he himlclf tells them ; and 
therefore they had nothing to look for bat judgment and 
fierv indignation. In line, I might to the fame purpofe fct 
before your eyes many instances in the gofpel church, fince 
the d*ys of Chrift, wherein the Lord has exa&ly followed 
the fame meafures. Now, tell me, O Turners ! have ye uc t 
reafon to fear, from all that has bten laid before you, ih;«t 
ye fhall deep on, and never be convinced, never awaken- 
ed. But this is uot all ; for we mult tell yon, 

3<#JS O unconvinced tinners ! after all the pairs that 
has been taken upon you for your falvation, it is highly 
probable that ye ihall never be fivcd. We hav* juit now 
laid before you many reafons we have tj fear, thai ye 
who have Ihut your eyes fo long upon the d'feuveries of 
your fin and danger, flicll never get them opened ; and if 
they never be opened, then I may fay, that as fure as God 
lives, not a foul of you ihall be faved : For, 1. If ye be 
not convinced, if ye get not your eyes opened to fee your 
fin and mifery, ye will never lay falvation to heart, as ap- 
pears from what has been already difcourfed to you at 
great length. 2. If ye lay not falvation to heart, then 
fure ye will never feek after or look to a Sa\ iour for fal- 
vation. Such as think they fere, will not value eye-falve ; 
fuch as think themfclves rich enough, will not look after 
gold tried in the fire ; fuch as fee no hazard of damnation, 
will not feek after falvation. 3. If ye be net feeking af- 
ter a Saviour, then though -he come to you, yet will ys 
not receive him: nay, ye will reject him, aid that with 
contempt. And indeed it cannot otherwile be: who would 
not with fcorn rejeft the offers of a phyfician, that flioulJ 
prefs upon him healing medicines, when he was not fenfi- 
ble of any difeafe ? He is a fool that ofFers pardon to a 
man who is not condemned, or his hand to help up a man 
who is not fallen, or water to wafh a man that is not de- 
filed : and fuch an one is Chrift in th« eyt* oi a\\ vVax w* 

not convinced. Such an one really he is in your eyes.; and 1 
ye will be Cure to treat him as fuch. 4. The nece/Tary 
con feq tic nee of this is, ye mud be damned, ye cannot be 
faved ; for there is- no other way of obtaining eternal fal- 
vation, but only by Jefus Chrifl: ; for u there is no- 
other name given under heaven among men, whereby Tin- 
ners can be faved, bat only that of Jefus Chrifl!" Ads 
iv. 12. And damnation is the eternal lot of all them that 
rejetf him, Mark xvi. 16. But further, 

A,thly, We fay, woe to you, O ftupid, hard-hearted r 
and unconvinced tinners ! for if ye ihall be damned, your 
damnation will be moil terrible, your ftate will be mi- 
fpeakably miferable* And thi* will appear plain to any 
-who ferioufly ihall think upon it. For, r. Damnation at 
the bed is moil terrible. This we did make appear to you 
not long ago : and indeed, though we had fpoken nothings 
the thing fpeaks for itfelf. What is terrible, if eternal 
burnings be not fo ? u Who can dwell wittT devouring" 
flames ? who can dwell with everlafting burnings V* 
Who can abide the heat of that " Tophet thai is prepared 
of old, that is made large and deep, and has for its pile 
fire and much woodland the breath of the Almighty like 
a ftream of brim ft one, kindling it." The coldeft place 
there will be hot; the molt tolerable place will be into- 
lerable; and therefore the cafe of all thole who go there 
is terrible. "But, i. Yourcondltion* O miserable finners! 
will be more terrible than that of many who Ihall be there* 
Chrifl fays," Woe unto thee Chorazin, woe unto the Beth— 
faida; for if the mighty works which have been done in 
thee had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have 
repented long ago in fackcloth and afhes : But I fay unto 
you, It (hall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the 
da,y of judgment than for you.. And thou, Capernaum*, 
which art exalted unto heaven r ihall be brought down 
to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done 
in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained . 
until this day t But tfay unto you* It ihall be more to- 
lerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than 
for thee*" Matth^ xi. 2.1. — 24. h\ which remarkable- 
denunciation of wrath, again ft thofe finners whom our 
Lord had endeavoured to convince, and yet were not 
awakzned^ it is plaiiij Jirft 9 That fame ihall have hotter 


and more intolerable places in hell than others. Secondly, 
That they on whom mod pains have been bellowed will have 
the hotted place. According to this rule of the divine 
procedure with finners, I fliall now proceed, and lay be- 
fbreyouyour cafe* I fay unto you, O uncon? inced tin- 
ners in the congegration of Ceres ! before whom your fin 
and mifery has fo fully of late been laid open, your hell 
will be hotter than that of many others. Woe unto yon, 
for it will be more intolerable than that of Sodom and 
Gomorrah. They never finned againft the means of grace, 
as ye have done. Upon this very account, when our 
Xord (ends forth his difciples, Matth. x. he tells them, 
ct That it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomor- 
rah in the day of judgment, than for fnch as mould re- 
fute them. See 14th and 15th verfes. Now, this is the 
cafe with you : the heathen world's hell will be hot in- 
deed.; but your furnace will be heated feven times more. 
.Again, woe unto you, for your hell will be more intolerable 
than that of 'Capernaum, Beth fa id a, or Chorazin ; nay, than 
•that ef the foldiers that crucified Chrift, and of the Jews 
that condemned him ; for they only finned againft Chrift 
In his eftate of humiliation ; but ye have rejected him, 
•now when be is exalted up on high, andfeated at the right- 
hand of God. Woe unto you, it will be more intolerable 
ibryou than for*hofe who live in many ether churches, 
where the gofpel is corrupted with a perverfe addition 
•of human inventions and doctrines, that are alien from it; 
;for ye fin againft the clear light of the gofpel, not dark- 
ened by the clouds of falfe -doArines. Once more, woe 
veto yon of this congregation, if ye be found rejecters of 
the gofpel, as certainly ye will if ye continue unconvin- 
ced ; for your hell will be more intolerable than that of 
many others in Scotland, who have not had that pains 
taken upon them which ye have had, who have not had 
tbefe frequent and clear difcoveries of fin and duty, which 
ye have had by one of Chrift's fervants after another. 
Now, tell me, O finners . I can ye think upon your own 
cafe without horror ? Sure, if ye underftood it, ye would 
not, ye could not do it. But, 

5thly, I fay further to you, who fhtot your eye3 upon 
your fin and mifery, notwithftanding all that has been 
/aid for your awakening, if ye periftu and ^ttlttv ^* 


fhall, if ye be not convinced, then your definition is 
entirely of yourfelves. And O how galling, how cut- 
ting will this be to you eternally 1 That it is, I make 
appear againft you thus: Where can ye liy the blame 
of it? l. Dare ye fay that ye wanted the means of ion ? No, this ye cannot, ye dare not fay ; for if 
ye (hill do fo, we are all here witnefles for God againft 
you ; nay, your own confckEices mall arife and fly in 
your faces, aud force you, though unwilling, to own that 
ye have had the m«?ana. 2. D ire ye fay thst the means 
are not fufficient to the end for which they are offered? 
No, lam fure there mall not be one that ever had them, 
who iliall dare to charge them with infufficiency. And 
if any one of you ihould arrive at that height of into- 
lerable iufolence tnd impudence as to do it, it were eafv 
to flop their mo»ths: For God might a fit you, when 
(landing al his tribunal, firft, How do ye know them to 
be inefficient, fince ye were never at the pains to try 
t-hem ? Next, He might flop your mouth thus.: Behold 
here, upon my right-hand, that innumerable company out 
of all kindreds, tongues, and nations. And how were 
they faved? If ye fliould go to them all, and afk them 
one by one, would they not all with one voice anfwer, . 
to your eternal fliame and confufion, that by the ufe of 
thefe very means you had, but neglecied, they were faved, 
3. If yet ye will not fee that all the blame of your de- 
ftruclion will come only to your own door, then I afk 
you, oft whom will ye lay the blame? Dare ye lay it up- 
on any other but yourfelves, with any tolerable fhadow 
of ground? I know ye dare not. To blame the devil, 
or the world is downright nonfenfe ; for is it falvation 
from them ye was to feek ? and to tell that thefe are the 
caufe of your ruin, when ye had relief againfl them of- 
fered, is vain ; for it may afked at a perfon who 
has lived under the gpfpe), and gives Satan or the world 
the blame of his ruin, was there not deliverance from 
Satan and the world offered toyou? Were not the means 
mentioned fufficient? This will eternally acquit them as 
to your deftruclion, and lodge it upon yourfelves as the 
principal caufe of it, which is all we plead ; for we do 
not exempt them from a (hare in the guilt of it. Now, 
this being inconteftibly evident, it remains that either 




Oirift or his minifters are chargeable with your damna- 
tion, or that ye yourfelves only are fo, , 

As for our blefled Lord and Matter, we offer now to 
undertake his vindication againft any that (hall dare to 
accufehirn. We have abundance to fpeak in his behalf 5 
and are refolved to afcribe righteoufnefs to our Maker. 
In his vindication, I appeal to your own conferences in a 
few particulars* (i.) Is he not indeed a fufficient Saviour, 
" one able to fave to the uttermoft all that come unto 
God through him?" Deny it you dare not ; for this is 
the atteftation of the glorious cloud of witneiTes, who all 
have, by faith in his name., got above the reach of fin, 
death and hell, (a.) Did ever any of you come to him, 
and get a refufal ? Produce your instances of this forr, 
if ye can. We dare boldly, in owr Lord's name, give a 
defiance to earth or hell to produce one iuftance of this 
fort. (3.) Has lie not allowed, nay, invited, intreated, 
nay, commanded you to come unto him, that ye might 
be faved? If ye fhall deny this, the word of God, the 
fervants of God, are witneflft* againft you. (4.) Has he 
not waited long upon you ? Has he not given you u pre- 
cept upon precept, and line upon line?" And now, to 
conclude, I pofe you on it, what could he have done more 
to you that he has not done? 

But it may be ye will lay it to our doer, and fay, though 
CUrift did his part, yet his fervants have not done their 's ; 
they have not given you fair warning. As for their vin- 
dication, I anfwer a few things; and I fay, 1. Though 
they may be guilty, and conceal, or at ieaft fail of faith- 
fulnefs in their duty, yet your damnation is of yourfelves : 
for ye have the word of God, that is plain, that is full, 
in its reprefentation of your fin and mifery ; and had you 
paid a due regard to that, ye could not have mi (Ted of fa]- 
vation : therefore yet your deftru&ion is of yourfelves. 
But, 2. We refufe the charge of your blood, and tell you 
that ye have deftroyed yourfelves, if ye fleep on in your 
Has. And for our own vindication, I put a few things 
home to you : Have we not plainly told you your (in and 
danger ? Have we not done it frequently ? Have we not 
been particular in dealing with young and old of you ? 
Have we not been prefling in order to your conviclion ? 
We have told you, with earneftnefej botlx ^<^t fcw 


and dan gen We have looked frcm our watch-to wer f 
through the profpec* of the word of God, and have feeu 
the wrath of God ready to feize you ; and we have not 
concealed his righteoufnefs within us. And now, the 
Lord, the righteous Judge, be witnefs betwixt you and 
us, for we Inve done as much as will free us of your 
'bljpod. Indeed we cannot deny ourfelves to be fmners ; 
and mud own that we have finned, even with refpeet to 
you : but this will not make your blood to be charged 
upon us i fiuce, in order to our exoneration as to that, 
it is only required we give you warning of your danger: 
and if ye be flain fleeping, ye are to blame. There is one 
word more I have to fay to you, in the 

6th Place * and then I (hall leave you. What have 
' we to do more with you I If ye comply not with the firft 
part of our meftage, ye will be fure to refufe the fecond. 
-Chriit refufed by you, and we will feem to you 
like them that mock. But whatfoever ufe ye make of it f 
we fhall proceed in' our work : and if we prove not the 
favour of life unto you, we fhall prove the favour of 
death ? for we are a 4t fweet favour unto God in them 
that are faved, and in them that perifh ; and if our got- 
pel be bid, it is bid to them that are loft,' 9 2 Cor. iv. 3, 
J. come now,, 

zdly, To fpeak a word tofuch at are awakened, and are 
faying, with the convinced jailor in the text, What /hall 
I do to be faved ? And to you we fay, 

1. Blefs the Lord, who has opened your eyes. Ye were 
naturally as much inclined to fleepon as others ; and it is 
only the dtflinguifhing goodnefs of God that has made you 
to differ. 

z. Study to keep your eyes open. If ye fhut them again, 
and lofe convictions, then ye may never more recover 
them. If ye quench the Spirit, it is hard to fay but the 
iflue may prove fatal to you. If God., being provoked 
by your ftifling convictions, fhall give over dealing with 
you, I may fay, woe unto you, for ye arc undone eter- 
nally. And that ye have got your eyes opened in fome 
meafure, to difcover your hazard, will be fo far from 
mending the matter, that it will make it much worfe 5 it 
will put an accent upon your fin, and like wife upon your 


3. Endeavour to improve the difcoveries ye have got 
tf fin 1 and feck not only to keep your eyes open, but to 
have them further opened. The more clear the fight of 
fin is which ye get, the more welcome will y* make the 
gofpel-tender of mercy and relief, the more finceiely and 
heartily will ye clofe with it. 

4. Would ye indeed be faved ? then take the advice in 
the text, Believe in the Lord Jeftis Chrift, and th*.u Jltalt 
be faved. This leads me to that which 1 did principally 
defign in the choice of this fubjelt ; therefore I fha 11, if 
the Lord will, infift upon it at length, becaufe it is the 
very fum and fubftance of the gofpel, that which com- 
prifes all the red. 

We have hitherto reprefented your cafe by nature, as 
ye are under fin ; and have hinted Ihortly at your cafe, 
asunder the influences of the Spirit in convi&ion : now 
we fhall proceed to a difcovery of the gofpel-relief, that 
is provided by infinite wifdom, for fuch as are awakened 
to a difcovery of their loft and undone flate ; and that lies 
before us in this 31ft verfe. Ye may remember, that 
when we did open to you the context, we did refer the ex- 
plication of this verfe, till fuch time as we had ended the 
•former. This being now done, 1 ilia 11 briefly open the 
words, and then draw thence fome comprchenlive truth as 
may give ground to difcourfe of that which we have prin- 
cipally in our eye. 

The words contain a direction given to the diftrefled 
and awakened jailor : and in them we may take notice, 

I. Of the perfon to whom the direction is given ; and, 
as was juft now faid, he is an awakened and convinced 
firmer. This is the gofpel-naethod ; it propofes its reme« 
dy, not to thofe who are whole and well in their own 
eyes, but to foch as are difeafed. Chrift is tendered to 
fuch as need him, and are fenfible that they do fo. The 
foundation of the gofpel is laid in conviction of fin. Hence 
it is, that we find gofpel-rainifters begin their work here ; 
of which we have many eminent and notable inftances in the 
fcripture. John the Baptift, whole bufinefs it was to make 
way for Chrift, and prepare finners for entertaining the cal 1 
of the gofpel, begins his miniflry with conviclion, with 
preaching of fin to his hearers: u Repent," faith he, 
44 for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Ht faM&\.Vj **- 


bukes fuch as came to him, and fully unfolds to them their 
need of a Saviour. There were two forts of people that 
came to him, as we read in the 3d of Matthew. The or- 
dinary fort of people, and the more refined fort, the 
Scribes and Pharifees 1 and he deals with them according- 
ly. The more grofs fort he directly preflcs to repent- 
ance, in confide ration ui the approach of the gofpel. Their 
fins went before -hand into judgment. Matters of fa& 
they could not deny * and therefore he prefles them to 
loud iheir conferences with a fenfc of them. The more 
refined fort of finners he takes another way of dealing 
with ; he calls them vipers, thereby pointing them out as 
full as bad, if not worfe than the common fort, and beats 
1 hem from their ftrong holds- they were wont to me Iter 
tbemfdves in from the florins of an awakened confei* 
ence : u Think not to fay within yourfelves, We have 
Abraham to our father," &c. This was their ordinary 
relit f; and this he di [covers the vanity of, in order to 
prepare them for the entertainment of the gofpel. The 
• fame courfe was followed by the apoftles, Ads ii. The 
. fame method did our Lord ufe with the apoftle Paul, 
Atfs ix. ; and this method we have endeavoured to fol- 
low in dealing with you 1 we have laid fin before you pm 
and it is for the fake of fuch as are convinced among you, 
that we have entered upon the confideratjon of this relief, 
that is only fuited to convinced finners. But, 

2. In the words we may take notice of the perfons who 
propefe this relief to this awakened finner, viz. Paul and 
Silas. In reference to them, there are only .two things 
I obferve, amongfl; many : the one, that they were per* 
fons who had a commiffion from Chrift to preach the 
gofpel ; the other, that they once had been in the fame 
cafe themfelves ; which two, when they meet in one, .help 
to fit a man to be a complete minifter ; one who in his 
meafure will be capable to anfwer the chara&er given of 
Chrifc, that " he had the tongue of the learned to fpeak 
a word in feafon to weary fouls." 

3. We may take notice of the way wherein they propofe 
this direction. And here it is remarkable,, that they do it 
fpeedily y to do it plainly. No fooner is the queftion pro- 
pofed, but it is anfwered. One would have thought, that 

It had been the apoftle's wifdom to capitulate, with hiro* 


md hold him in fuf pence, till fuch time as he ihonld en. 
gage to contribute for their efcape : but they would not 
do fo, but prefcntly offer him relief; having themfelvea 
been acquaint with the terrors of the Lord, thej know 
how uneafy it would be for him to continue in that mifer- 
able perplexity, nay, how cruel it would be not to do 
their utmoft for his fpcedy relief. They minded nore tl.e 
tinner's eternal falvation than their own temporal f»ifety» 
They had greater regard to the glory of Cbiilt, than ihnr 
own fafety. They were more concerned to fatisfy a p»or 
convinced and dejected firmer, than their own private 
grudges. . And this they do, not by propoflng the go f pel 
in fuch a dark an<l obfeure way as might amufe and con- 
found, but in fo fair and plain a way, as might be under- 
flood eafily by the poor diftrefled man. 

4. In the words we are to notice the direHion itfelf, Be- 
lieve on the Lord Jefus Chrift. In which, again, we are 
to obferve three things, the duty pointed to, the perfoir 
whom it refpecls, and the way how it refpecta him. The 
duty pointed to is, Believe s that is, alt faith upon, re- 
ceive and reft upon Chrift, look unto him. All thefe 
words fignify exactly one and the fame thing, as we Hi a 11 
fee anon, if the Lord will. The perfon whom this faith 
refpects, is the Lord Jefus Chrift. Here we have a three- 
fold title given to him. He is called the Lord : wh:«?i 
points at lus authority and dominion. He is Lord over 
ail things and perfons, becaufe he did create, and doth 
ftill uphold them t and he is fo in a peculiar manner, as 
lie is the Redeemer of the church, for whofe behoof all 
things are put into his hands, he being made u head over 
all things to the church." Again he is called Jefusj to 
point at the defign of his lordihip and dominion : as he is 
exalted to be a Prince, fo he is likewife to be a Saviour. 
Nay, the defign of his advancement to that dominion 
which belongs to him as Mediator, is to fit him to be a 
Saviour; which is the proper import of the name Jefus,. 
according to the fcripturc-account of it, " Thou lhalt 
call his name Jefus, becaufe he (hall fave his people from 
their fins," Matth. i. 21. In fine, he is called Chrift) i. e. 
Anointed^ becaufe he is anointed, defigned, and furnifhed 
ef God, to be a " Prince and Saviour to give repentance 
and remiffion of fins," Acts v. 31, Tto \s& xVCvsv^ ^^ 

P % «A. 

j 74 maiti Recovery* by faith nr cmcrer. 

did notice in the direction itfelf, is the nature of that re- 
fpett which this faith has to Chrift : it is not faid, Believe 
the Lord Jefus Chrift, but believe [on] film, or [in] him*. 
It is not (imply to give credit to his word, and to take as 
truth whatever he has faid y but it is to rely on him, to 
put our truft in him, as one that is able to fave fuch as 
come unto God through him.. 

5. In the words we are to obferve the encouragement 
that is given, to engage to a compliance with this direc- 
tion. And this is twofold; particular, thou /halt be fa^ 
ved ; and more general, and thy houfe. In the 

1/?, We have three things worthy of our notice *♦ The- 
thing that is promifed, and that is falvation, the very 
thing that the man was feeking. 2. The order in which 
it is to be had ; believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thorn 
/halt bt faved. 3* There is the certain connexion betwixt 
the ene and the other; thou {halt be faved if once thou 
believe* Where T by the by T we cannot but take notice 
of the different influence of the Arminian dodrine of jufti- 
fication, and that of the apoftle's doftrine, upon the com* 
fort of awakened tinners. Had Paul faid to him, Believe 
on the Lord Jefus ; and if ye (hall hold out in faith to the 
end, then ye fhall be faved ; if ye hold your will right^ 
then all ihall be well. If, I fay,, the apoflle had made 
his propofal fo, the poor man might have lain Hill upon ' 
the ground, and trembled all his days; fi nee this would 
have given him,, at bed, but a may- be for his eternal faU 
Tation, and efeape from eternal mifery. But here there 
is a ground for prefent and abiding comfort: Believe on 
the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou fhalt be faved. The 

2d Branch of the encouragement is rgeneral, and thy 
houfe fhall be faved. Which is not fo to be under flood 
as if hereby it were promifed, that their falvation (hould 
abfolutely depend upon his belief? for his faith could not 
fave them; fince the fcripture is cxprefs, that he believeth 
not, every particular perfon who doth not believe, ihall 
be damned ; and, upon the other hand, that every parti- 
cular perfon that believes fhall be faved r though there 
lhould not one more believe. But the meaning of the 
words I ihall offer to you fhortly thus : When it is ad- 
ded f and thy houfe, this expreffion imports, 1. That all 
his houfe bad need of faIvation } a* \*tU as himfclf. One 


might poffibly think, as for that rude fellow, who treated 
the fervants of Chrift fo ill, he has need to be faved 1 
but his innoceut children are guilty of nothing that can 
endanger their eternal happinefsi but hereby the apof- 
tles intimate, that they needed falvation as well as he. 
2. It imports the commonncfs of this direftion ; as if 
the apoftles had faid, This direction is not fiich as is 
peculiar to fuch great, notorious, flagitious finners, as 
thou haft been; but it is the common road wherein others 
walk towards happinefs : there is one way for you and 
your houfe to be laved in. 3. It imports the extent of 
this remedy* as if they had faid, This is not only fuffi- 
cient to reach and benefit you, but it is fuch as may reach 
all in your houfe^ and they may have the fame advantage 
as ye may have. 4. It imports the certainty of falvation 
to them upon the fame terms ; as if the apoftles had faid, 
And let thy houfe believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and 
they likewife (hall be faved. 5. It imports this much,, 
that hereby his family mould obtain fome fpecial advan- 
tages, in order to their falvation. 

Now, beeanfe I defign not to fpeak any more of this 
part of the text, I (hall here mention fome of thefe ad- 
vantages which the jailor's children or houfe had by his 
faith, and confequently which the children of every be- 
liever has by the faith of their parents. Amongft many 
fuch advantages, the few following ones are remarkable. 
1. Hereby fuch children are taken in within the covenant : 
** For the promife," fays the apoftle, Acls ii. 39. a is to 
yon and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even 
as many as the Lord our God mail call." They are al- 
lowed hereby to have their names particularly mentioned 
in the promife. This is the advantage which church-mem- 
bers have beyond others, who are not yet taken within 
the covenant, nor admitted to thofe ordinances which 
are a badge of their reception. The gofpel-call fays in 
the general to all, if ye believe, ye mall be faved ; but 
it, as it were, names every one that is baptifed, and fays 
in particular to him, O man, thou who art taken within 
the covcrant, I fay to thee, as it were by name, thou 
(halt be faved, if thou believe : and this is much more con- 
firming than the other. 2. The children of real believers 
have this advantage, that they have theAi ^t^\* ^\<wAy&<^ 


for them at the throne of grace, which many times hay 
availed much, in order to their falvation, though the Lord 
fees not meet always to hear parents in behalf of their 
children. If he diJ always fo, then pofllbly it might 
prove a fnare both to them and to their children, and' 
might lead them into a dangerous miftske, as if God's 
grace were not fo free as it is: but that many times 
they are heard this way, is encouragement enough to en- 
gage all parents to- pray for their children. 3. The chil- 
dren of godly parents have their counfel and instruction,, 
which is of itfe to engage them to religion, and to bring 
them to acquaintance with Chrift: and of how mach in- 
fluence this is, the wife man tells us, ft4 Train up a child 
in the way he fhould go> and when he is old, he will not 
depart from it," Prov. xxii. 6. ; that is, ordinarily he 
will not do fo. 4. The children of believing parents, 
they have their parents' good example ; and this many 
times has more influence than precept and inftruction : 
hence it is, that we find the apoftle Peter exhorting 
Wives to a holy walk, that their unbelieving hufbands 
might be won by their converfation. 4i Ye wives, *' fays 
he, w be fubjeft to your own bufbands, that if any obey 
not the word, they alfo may, without the word, be won 
by the converfation of the wives, while they behold 
your chafte converfation coupled with fear," 1 Pet. iin 
1, 2. Faith made vifible in a holy walk, has a inoft at- 
tracting and engaging appearance; it is beautiful to an 
high degree. 5. Hereby children likewife have the ad- 
vantage of the ordinances, which are the means of falva- 
tion. Godly parents will take care both to bring their 
children to the ordinances, and to bring the ordinances to 
them. 6. To add no more to the purpofe, the children 
of believers have this advantage as they are theirs, that 
God has a particular refpecl to them ; which we find him 
exprefling upon (everal occafions to the children of his 

Since, as I faid before, I defign not to return again to 
this part of the verfe, I cannot but apply this truth, that 
the children or houfe of a believer has great advantages 
by his believing, in order to their falvation. And this 
I fhall do in a few words to four forts of pcrfons : 


(u) Believers; (a.) Their children; (3.) Unbelievers; 
(4.) Their children. 

To tht/irfl fort I fay only a few words. O belief ers ! 
is it fo that your children, a* well as yourfelves, have fo 
many advantages, in order to their falration ? Then, 
[i.J Blefs the Lord, who has given you faith, which not 
only is the fpring of innumerable advantages to your- 
felves, but alfo entails fo many upon your very houfes. 
[2."] Blefs the Lord, and be thankful for the exter.t of 
the covenant ; that it is fo wide as to reach not only your* 
felves, but even your children. It had been much mercy 
had God given yon your fouls tor a prey, though he had 
never given you the lead profpeel of mercy to your off- 
spring. [3.] Take care that your children loie none of 
thefe advantages by your negligence. Some of them, as 
ye have heard, are of fuch a nature, that depends not 
only upon the being of grace in the parents, but upon its 
exercife. If ye live not ho lily and tenderly before them, 
ye may lay a ftumbling-block in their way, which may 
coft you dear. The negligence of fome godly parents 
this way* hath been heavy to them when they came to 
die, and fome times even before. [4.] Do not quarrel with 
Gody or repine, if, after all, your children (ball fall 
fhort of falvation. If ye have acquitted yourfelve* 
faithfully, then ye have and may have peace, though 
they prove final roifimprovers of their own mercies. 
Chrift has no where promifed that they all (hall be fav- 
ed: the word of God gives a contrary account of tke 
matter: "Jacob haved I loved, and Efau have I hated," 
Rom. ix. 13. 

zMy 9 Are there here any who are the children of be- 
lievers? Then, to fuch 1 fay, [1.] Ye have great advan- 
tages, and therefore have an eminent call to thankfulnefs. 
Blefs God that ye have religious parents. Many have 
found it not a little relieving to them in their flraits and 
fears, that they could fay, that they were early devoted 
to God by their parents, and that they had early accefs to 
know God, and had prayers early put up for them. [2.] 
Reft not upon thefe advantages ; for your parents' faith 
will not fave you. Think not to fay within yourfelves 
we have a believer to our father, and therefore all will 
be welU Efau had fuch an one to his father^ and yet went 

to hell ; and not a few others have gone the fame way* 
Nay, [3.] I fay to you if ye fhall be damned, all thefead~ 
vantages will be witneftes again ft you. Your fathers de- 
voted you to God, but ye devoted yourfelves to Satan ; 
yonr fathers prayed for you y but ye prayed not for your- 
felves. Thffeand many fuch will come in againftyou, as 
aggravations of your fin, and will eternally aggravate 
your mifery. [4.] Therefore ye are called to work out 
your falvation with fear and trembling. Since, if ye be 
ruined, ye mud be fo with a witnefs ; if ye go to hell, it 
mud be a hotter hell ; therefore improve vigouroufly the 
advantages put in your hand, RefoJve with Mofes,Exod. 
xv. 2. u He is my God, and 1 will prepare him an ha- 
bitation ; he is my father's God, and 1 will exalt him.**" 
[5.] Pay a double refpeft to your believing parents. Ye 
owe them much asyoar parents, mudi as believers, much 
as in Chrift before you, and much as inftruments made 
ufe of by God in promoting your eternal well-being. 
[6.] Take care that ye turn not afide out of their way * 
fince this will prove eminently prejudicial, not only to 
yourfelves, but to your pofterity. In fine, I fay to you, 
if ye trace your parents* fteps, ye (hall attain their bleflT- 
ing, even the end of your faith, the falvation of your 

3^/y, I have a few words frem this head to fay to un- 
believing parents. Ye are miserable yourfelves 3 for he 
that believeth not u is condemned already, and the wrath 
of God abide th on him.** Ye entail as many di fad van- 
tages upon your pofterity, as believers tranfmit advanta- 
ges to theirs; ye deprive them of many means which they 
might enjoy, ye ruin them by your example, ye provoke 
God againft your families r in fine, ye do what in yon lies 
to ruin them eternally ; fo that, not only your own blood, 
but the bl^od of their fouls, will God require at your 
hands. Therefore, as yc tender their eternal advantage, 
as ye tender your own, believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift. 

4thly, I have a few words to fay to the children of ir, 
religious parents, and then 1 fhall proceed. Ye are at a 
great lofs indeed by your parents* infidelity and impiety : 
yet it is not an irreparable one ; {or the door is open to 
you, and ye are called to enter in. The promife of fal- 
ration is not only to believers, and to their children, but 


it is to u all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord 
oar God (hall call." Acls ii. 39. Therefore lay hold upon 
the advantage that ye have of mercy offered to you upon 
the go f pel terms. See that ye believe in the Lord Jefus. 
Be very thaakful to God, and admire the riches of his un- 
dcferved kindnefs, in having a regard to you, and calling 
you notwithstanding your own iniquities, and the iniqui- 
ty of your fathers. Take care that ye tranfmit not thefe 
inconveniences, that ya yourfelves lie under, to your pof- 
terity. And, if ever the Lord do you good, feek by all 
means the falvation of your parents; and if ye obtain not 
an anfwer of peace with refpeel to them, then 1 can aflTure 
you, your prayers (hall return into your own bofom, and 
io ye Oiall be no lofers. 

Thus far have we profecuted the lad claufe of the verfe, 
to which we defign not to return again ; we {hall now 
proceed to that which is our principal defign, in the 
difcovery of Jefus Chrift, as the only relief of tinners, as 
the only one that can eftectually quiet the confeience of 
an awakened (inner. 

We have futficiently explained the words already ; that 
which I fhall now infift upon at fome length from them, 
is exprefled in the following dodtrine* 

Doct.— a An awakened finner, betaking himfelf to, 
or believing in the Lord Jefus Chrift, fliall be faved." 

I think there is no need of any proof of the doctrine, 
it lies fo plain in the words, and is fo frequently after ted 
in the fcripture, that one fliall fcarce look into the 
book of God, but he fliall find fome one proof or other 
of this truth. In the profecution of this dodrine, we 
fliall, if the Lord will, follow this method; 

L We fliall tell you who this convinced finner is, of 
whom we fpeak in the doarine. 

II. We /hall offer you fome account of the Lord Je- 
fus, in whom he is to believe. 

1IL We fliall fhortly explain feveral fcripture-expref- 
fions which point out this duty, that from them we may 
underftandfomething of its nature ; and then, 

IV. Wc (hall hold forth the nature of this faith in a 


few particulars, which may receive light from the for- 
mer general brad. 

V. We (hall inquire, what that falvation is which, 
they (hall hare who believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift ? 

VI. We fhall offer fome evidences of the truth of the 
dotlrine, and then apply the whole, If the Lord allow 
time, and opportunty, and ftrength. 

I. We begin with thefirft of thefe, which is to fliow 
who this convinced (iiiner is, that fhall obtain falvation 
on his believing in the Lord Jefus Chrift. 1 fhall offer 
you his character in the few following particulars, in as 
far as we think it needful for our prefent defign ; for 
that it is in fome meafure requifite, is plain, fince none 
can be faved but fuch as believe, and none can believe 
but convinced and awakened tinners. Take then the 
character of fuch an one, thus : 

Ftrfty He is an ungodly man. It is only fuch as are 
ungodly who are faved by believing in Jefus: u To hira 
that worketh not, but believeth on him who juftifieth the 
ungodly, is his faith counted for righteoufnefs," Rom. 
iv. 5. Perfons who are not ungodly have no need of " 
Jefus ; and perfons who fee not tbemfelves to be fuch will 
never look after him. 

Secondly, He is one that fees himfelf, upon this account, 
obnoxious to the judgment of God, even that righteous 
judicial fentence, that he who committeth fin is worth/ 
of death. He fees himfelf lying open to the curfe of the 
law, to the death it threatens again ft finners. When the 
law fays, " The foul that fins ihail die," the finner hears 
his own doom in that fentence, becaufe he fees his name 
in the fentence. The fentence is again ft the foul that fins, 
and this he knows to be his very name. 

Thirdly, He is a felf-condemned man. He not only hear* 
God palling fentence againft him, but he pafleth fentence 
againft himfelf. Thus it is with every convinced (in- 
ner : he is as fevere to himfelf as God, or the law of God 9 
can be: whatever thefe charge them with, all that he 
takes with : whatever they determine to be done againft 
him, he writes down under it, Juft : the Lord is righteous f 
fur I hive offended. 
fburt/tly He Is one that has his mouth flopped, as the 




apoftle f peaks, Rom. ill. 16. He has finned, and he is fal- 
lible that there is no biding of it. He is guilty, and there 
is no excufe. He is every way fliut up tinder Jin, as the 
word properly fignifics, Gal. iii. ^^. u The fcripture 
bath concluded all under fin ;" that is, according to the 
force of the word, the fcripture hath every my flint up % 
or fliut in , all under fin, c « that the promife by faith of 
Jefus Chrift might be given to them that believe." In 
one word, he is a criminal, that has got fuch a fight of 
his crime, that he dare neither deny it, nor endeavour tn 
hide it, nor extenuate it, but fubferibes to the truth of 
all that the law of God and his own confeience charge him 
with. As for the fentence pa/Ted agairft him, he fub- 
feribes it juft : he knows that he cannot flee from it, nor 
is able to undergo it. He is an enemy to God, Irought 
to fnchaftrait, that he is able neither to fiqht nor flee. 
And when he looks to himfelf, and all thofe things he 
once laid fome weight upon, he fees no profpeft of relief. 
Such an one is the convinced finner we fpeak of ; and 
fuch of you as never were brought to this pafs, never did 
believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift,. This being once cleared, 
we proceed now, 

1L To give fome account of the Lord Jefus Chrift, on 
whom he is called to believe. Here ye are not to expert 
a full account of Chrift ; this none can give ; nor /hall 
I at large inGft on what may be known of him, lut only 
glance at a few things, which fuit the cafe of the convin- 
ced finner, of whom we have juft now been fpeaking. And 
this we (hall do in a few particulars. 

Fjrftj The Lord Jefus Chrift, on whom we are bid be- 
lieve, is, "Immanuel, God with us," God in our nature, 
God-man in one perfon. u In the beginning was the Word, 
ind the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 
And the Word that in the beginning was with God, and 
was God, in the fulnefs of time " was made flefh, and 
dwelt among men upon earth, who did behold his glory, 
the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace 
and truth." This the apoftle John doth evince at great 
length ; this he exprfsly teaches, in the firft chapter of his 
Gofpel, and the firft fourteen or fifteen verfes of it. Now, 
this difcovery of Chrift is extremely encouraging to a fin* 
Bcr who is under the deep conviction of fin, as was the 

0, Y*Vtt 


jailor in the text. If ye tell fuch an one, when he cries 
out with him, What mnjl I do to be faved ? Go, believe on 
God, it would give him do relief, for all his fears arc 
from G..d ; it is definition from God that is his terror, 
He fees the holmefs, the truth, ;he wifdom* and juftice ol 
God, all breathing out threatenings againft him. Holi- 
nefs cannot look upon an impure f. nner. The truth ol 
God hjs become furety for his deflru&ion ; the juftice ol 
God pleads it reafonable that the finner (hould be punifli- 
cd, and thereby evil taken away, God's honour, and the 
honour of his Jaw repaired ; and wifdom is fo deeply in- 
zr.rtfted in every one of thefe claims, that it feems to join 
with them. Hence it is that the (inner is horridly a- 
fraidofGod. So far would he be from looking toward 
him, that, like Adam, he would flee from him, and en- 
deavour to hide himfelf. What would fuch a poor trem- 
bling finner reply unto any who fliould bid him believe in 
God ? Shall I believe on him who threatens me with de- 
finition, on him, all whofe attributes confpire, and thai 
jr. oft juftly, my everlafting deftrucVion ? He has told mc 
already what lam to expe£t at his hand, even fure and 
inevitable death : « 4 In the day thou eatefl thou fhall 
furely die." This God is a containing fire, and I am as 
flubble before him. On the other hand, tell fuch a con- 
vinced finner of a man, a mere man, and bid him look to 
him for relief ; this at firfl blufli appears utterly vain, 
What ! are not all men involved in the fame calamity 
with me i are they not unable to fave themfelves ?.What I 
is man able to fuftain the weight of that heavy ftroke el 
wrath, which enraged Oranipotency is ready to lay on I 
Thus it appears, neither mere God; nor mere man, is 
fiiited to give relief to the finner of whom we fpeak ; but 
God and man united into one appears exceedingly fuited 
to give him relief. There are three things which an a- 
wakened finner will fee, at the firft view, in the perfon of 
Chrift. (i.) He will fee him to be one that may be approach- 
ed by him. When one is made fenfible of his own finful- 
nefs, fo far will he be from defiring a fight of God, that 
he will rather faint at the thoughts of it, fince he dreads he 
cannot fee him and live. Nay, fuch is the weakpefs of man 
fince the fall, that the fight even of a created angel has made 
fom§ of the rooft eminent faints exceedingly afraid, as we 


haveinftances more than one in the fcripture. Bat there 
is not that dread in the fight of one lhat U cloathed with 
fielb, that appears in the Jikfiiels even 01" finful tleih, 
Rom. viii. 3. as to deter from approaching to him. Nay, 
on the contrary, will not every one in this cafe readily 
draw near, in expectation of relief from fuch an one, 
knowing him to be u bone of his bone, and flefli of h's 
flefli ?" This is one of the excellencies in Cbriit's per- 
fon that ravi (hea the heart of a fmner that is looking out 
for relief", (a.) The perfon of Chrift, thus confiding of 
the divine and human nature united Tn one, appears no- 
tably fitted for undertaking the work of a days-man be- 
twixt an angry God and rebel Turners. He is equally 
interefled in both parties: being God, he knows exa&ly 
what all the properties of God do demand of finners ; and 
being man, he knows well what man's Hate is. Thus the 
finner's fear is removed, that there is " not a days-man 
who (hould lay his hand upon the head of both parties," 
as Job exprefles it. (3.) A convinced finner here fees one, 
notonlv capable to know, but even to be u touched with 
the feelings of his infirmities, who withal has wifdom and 
power to improve any fenfe he has of our mifery to our 
advantage. This is >vhat the convinced finner with admi- 
ration views in Chrift, who is the *reat u myitery of 
godlinefs, God manifested in the fief]}." 

Secondly^ The Lord Jefus Cbrifl is cloathed with a 
threefold office, for the behoof and advantage of as 
fhall believe on him. He is a King, a Prieft, and a Pro- 
phet: and each of thefe is exceedingly fuited to the re- 
lief of an awakened /inner; as we may hear afterwards. 

1/?, I fay he is a Prophet : and as fuch he was pro- 
mised of old to the church by Moles: " A Prophet fhall 
the Lord your God raife up to you from among your bre- 
thren, " fays he. Becaufe this fcripture fumifhes us with 
a full account of Chrifl's prophetical office, we may take 
a view of it at fome length. So then that text runs, "I 
will (fays God) raife them up a prophet from among their 
brethren, like unto thee ; and I will put my words in his 
xuouth, and he (hall fpeak unto them all that I fhall com- 
mand him 2 and it fhall come to pafs, that whofoever will 
not hearken to my words, which he fhall fpeak in my name, 
1 will require it of him," Deut. xviii. 18. 19. Now, in 


thU fcripture we have fo full ao account of Ch rift's pro 
phetical otice, with refped* to our prefent defign, that . 
cannot better unfold this matter than by making fom< 
remarks upon it. And, (i.) Here we fee that Chrift is in« 
deed a Prophet ; for fo he is exprefsly called, and as fuch 
hd is here promiftd. That it is Chrift whom Mofes here 
intends, the Spirit of God has long fince, by the mouth 
of the apoitle Peter, fully determined, Ads iii. 22, 
(z.) Here we fee his call to that office. u 1 will raife up z 
Piophet," fays God ; that is, I will call and fet one apart 
for that work. (3.) We fee further his furniture for the 
work; u I will put my words in his mouth." (4.) We 
fee what his work and bufinefsis: it is to fptak to them alt 
that is commanded him of God ; to deliver to them the 
whole couufcl of God for their falvation. (5.) Here we 
fee who the perfonsareto whom God has a regard, in the 
defi^natiou of Chrift. to this office ; they are finners, fen- 
iible that it was impoffible for them to hear God fpeak tor 
them immediately, and yet live; which put them upon; 
that defire expreflcd in the 16th verfe of this chapter l 
44 Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God ; 
neither let me fee this great fire any more, that I die not.'* 
(6.) We moreover fee God'a defign iu*appointing Chrift a 
Prophet, even a compliance with the defiresand neceffities 
of convinced fmners. This appears plainly to be his defign, 
if ye obferve the connection betwixt the 15th and 16th 
verfes of this chapter. The Lord promifes, in the 15th 
verify Chrift to be a Prophet ; and in the 16th he tells, 
that it was, according to their defires, 111 Horeb. (7.) We 
may further take notice of the qualifications which 
they defire in this Prophet, and which Chrift according- 
ly is endued with ; and they are, that he be one of them- 
felves, one who by his greatnefs mould not be a terror to 
them, and that he be faithful in declaring to them all 
that the Lord mould acquaint him with. Thus we fee in 
fomemeafure, and hereafter may fee more fully, of what 
ufe it is to finners, in order to their believing on Chrift, 
that he be a Prophet. 

zdly, The Lord Jcfus Chrift is " a Prieft for ever af- 
ter the order of Melchifcdec," Pfal. ex. 4. God having 
made him fo by an oath. And in his difcharge of this of. 
fice doth no fiJiall part of the concernment cf awakened 



firmer* lie. It is not my defign at present to enter upon 
iny large difcoarfe of this office of (Thrift. 1 did ft here 
tike notice of, and open up the nature of this office in 
order to that end and fcope which we now drive at, the 
relief of convinced finners. I (hail not (land upon a reci- 
tal of all the a&s which do belong to this office, of which 
not a few might be mentioned. There are two which 
dcferve efpecial confederation, his oblation, and his inttr- 
ccffion thereupon. The firft is the foundation of the fe- 
cond. Now, that ye may nnderftand what advantage flows 
from this office to the perfons of whom we difcourfe, I 
(hall a little enquire, who the perfon is to whom Chrift of- 
fers facrifice? who they are for whom he doth fo? who he 
Is that offers facrifice, and what that facrifice is tint ho 
offers? and, upon the whole, it will appear of how oreat 
advantage this office is to Tinners, and how much he is 
thereby fitted to be the objeft of tinners' fiith. 1 (ball on- 
ly touch at fuch things here as are indifpenfably needful 
in order to lay a foundation for faith. 

i. As for the perfon to whom he offers facrifice, and 
with whom he intercedes, no doubt it is God only | and 
that as he isjuft, the fin-revenging God, who has declare 
ed, that he " will by no means clear the guilty ;" nay, 
« that the foul that finnetfi fhall die." There was no 
place for facrifices before God was incenfed by fin. It had 
no place under the firft covenant, wherein Adam was al- 
lowed to come into the prefence of God, without any in- 
ter po fa 1 on his behalf by any other. God being then wf 11 
pleafed with him, he had acceptance with God, and bv 
virtue of his acceptance, had a right to, and might afk 
and have whatever was needful for his happinefs. Rut, 
upon the entry of fin into the world, God's favour was 
turned into anger and indignation againft finful man. 
This cuts him off from the expectation of advantage by 
God; nay more, threatens him with inevitable ruin ard 
definition from him, without the interpofal of fome one 
or other as a Prieft, to appeafe the wrath of the fin-reveng- 
ing God. Whence, 

2. It is eafyto nnderftand who the perfons are for 
whom he offers facrifice. Thry are finners, who are ob, 
noxious to the wrath of God upon the account of fin j 
who not only are ca/r out of the fcxvoux <AGc^\^x 


moreover are lying open to the ft r ok e of vindictive jul 
tice. And this, 

3. Clears to us, who he is that muft interpofe as 
Prieft. He muft be one acceptable to God : u Such a 
High Prieft (fays the apoftle) became us, who is hoh 
harmlefs, undefiled, and feparate from finners," Hel 
vii. a6. One who, upon the account of his own fin: 
was obnoxious to the juft indignation ©f God, could be < 
no nle to finners in this matter. Again, he tauft be on 
who was capable of being affected with the feeling of ou 
infirmities, that be might have compaffion upon us ; an 
upon this account -it is that the apoftle fays, Heb. ii. l* 
44 That it behoved Chrift to be made like unto his br< 
thren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Prie 
in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation fc 
the fins of the people; for in that he himfelf hath fu 
fered, being tempted, he is able to fuccour them that ai 
tempted :" For, as the apoftle has it, Heb, iv. 15. u "Vv 
have not an High Prieft which cannot be touched with tl 
feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempte 
like as we are, yet without fin.*' In fine, he muft be or 
called of God to this office ; for no man takes to himfe 
this office, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 
All which qualifications are foivnd in Chrift, and in hi 
only, " who is the Apoftle and High Prieft of our pn 

4. We are to confider what that facrifice is, whi< 
Chrift, as a Prieft, doth offer unto arc incenfed God f< 
finners. That hefhould have fomething to offer, is abf 
lutely needful upon account of the office : 44 For evei 
high-prieft is ordained to offer gifts and facrifices ; wher 
fore it is'of neceffity that this man have fomewhat alfo * 
offer," Heb. viii. 3. What that facrifice was, the fan 
apoftle tells, Heb. ix. 13. " For (faith he) if the blo< 
of bulls and of goats, and the allies of an heifer, fprin 
ling the unclean, fancVifieth to the purifying of the flef 
how much more (hall the blood of Chrift, who, tbrouj 
the eternal Spirit, offered himfelf without fpot to Go 
purge your confeiences from dead works, to ferve t 
living God ?" The facrifice he offers is himfelf. 

What has been faid of Chrift's prieftly office, \ flu 
Wbdag home to. the bufinefe in, handy in the few followi 


particulars. From what has been fa id, it appears, tl at 
the cafe betwixt God and fulfill man dands plainly thus. 
(i.) man has finned, and thereby provoked God 10 wrath. 
(2.) Incenfed juftice lays hold of finful man, takes him, 
and, like Ifaac, binds him, and lifts the hand with the 
knife in it, to fetch a droke down upon the finner. (3.) In 
this cafe, no prayers, no tears of the finner, nay, nor 
any thing that the finner can think upon, can avail : 
41 Sacrifice and offering thou wouldft not," fa>s our 
Lord, Heb. x. 5. (4.) While things are in this dt($e- 
rate condition with the finner, Chrid, being made a 
Pried, as has been faid, by virtue of his office, fteps in, 
and pleads for the finner, and offers himfelf in the finntr'g 
room, to fuffer what juftice was ready to have inflicted 
upon the finner. (5.) Juftice accepts of the facrifice of 
this Lamb of God's providing, and lets the finner go, but 
flays the facrifice. (6.) This being done, God is appeaf- 
ed ; he has no more to charge the finner with, for the 
facrifice has fnffered ; nay more, the facrifice being of in- 
finitely moje value than the finner, doth deferve and pur- 
chafe a great many favours for him, all which this High 
Prieft takes care to have beftowed on him ; that is to 
fay, he intercedes for bim, that he may lofe none of thefe 
things which Chrift has purchafed for him ; for his inter- 
ceflion is nothing elfe but that care, if 1 may fo fpeak, 
which the High Pried of our profeflSon takes, that all 
thofe for whom he did offer himfelf a facrifice obtain the 
advantage of that facrifice. And of how great life this 
office is to fuch finners as are in the jailor's cafe, may ap- 
pear in part from what has already been difcourfed on this 
head, and, may more fully appear from what we iliafl af- 
terwards difcourfe on the fame. Now we come, 

3^?/y, To fpeak of Chrift's being a King. As he is by 
God appointed to be a Prophet and a Prieft, fo is he like- 
wife to be a King : u I have let my King upon my holy 
hill of Zion," Pfal. ii. 6. His profefled adherence to 
this, cod him his life. This was his charge, that he made 
himfelf a King. 1 cannot ftand to fpeak of all thefe things 
which do belong to Chrift^s kingly office. I fhall only 
hint at a few things which arc of efpecial ufe to our pre- 
fent purpofe. (1.) He has power and authority, by vir- 
tue of this office, to enaclj all fuch lavi&avmv) w^vdWt 


to the good and advantage of his fubjefis. (2.) He has 
power to reduce all fuch as do belong to his kingdom to 
his obedience: u Thy people fball be willing in the day 
of thy power," fays God to him, Pfal. ex. 3. Some- 
times the fubjefls of his kingdom do rebel againft him? 
but he makes them by his power willing to fubmit to him. 
(3.) He has power to protea his fubjecls againft all their 
enemies ; and hereupon it is that the church's confidence 
is founded, Ifa. xxxiii. 22. u The Lord is our Judgr, 
the Lord '13 our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will 
fave us." (4.) He has power entirely to make a con- 
quell: of all his enemies ; for " he muft reign nil he hath 
put all his enemies under his feet," 1 Cor. xv. 25, In 
fin-, he his a power whereby he b able even to fubdue all 
tilings to himfelf, '* all power being given him in heaven 
and in earth ;" and being made " head over all things 
to the church," he will take care to employ and lay out 
all for the advantage, peace, reft, and (lability, of bis 
church and people. But, leaving this, we proceed, 

Thirdly ', To give a further account of the Lord Jefus 
Chrift, on whom finners are called to believe. Two things 
we have faid of him ; one, that he is God 4n our nature; 
the other that he is cloathed with a threefold office. We 
add, in the next place, as the confequence of what has 
been faid of him, that he is one in whom the convinced 
finnerwill find relief againft a threefold evil, under which 
he lies. There are three things which do exceedingly 
burden the confeience of a fmner in any good meafure 
awakened, ignorance, guilt, and the power of fin. 1/?, He 
finds himfelf extremely ignorant, perfectly in the dark, as 
to the mind and will of God. He knows not what hand 
he lhall turn to, what is fin, or what is duty, whether 
he had beft lie ftill, or move out of his prefent ftate ; cr 
if he find it ruining to lie ftill, he knows not what courfe 
to betake himfelf to. Now, for this plague, which is 
nue of the difmal confequenees of man's apoftary 
from God, there is nlief in Chrift's prophetical office, by 
which he doth tranflate finners out of darknefs into his 
marvellous light. What before was hid from the eyes of 
all living, that he reveals to finners. That there were 
any thoughts of mercy or grace for finners in the heart of 
God, could never have been known by any, had not Chrift 


revealed it; for, ** no man hath feen God at any time; 
the only begotten Son, which is in the bofom of the Fa- 
ther, he hath declared him," John i. 18. idly, Man is 
pre/Ted down with guilt, and it is only in Ch rift's prieftly 
office that the awakened Tinner can find relief againil this; 
for there is no way of purging the confeience from dead 
works, but only bv the application of the blood of Chrifl, 
who offered himfelf to God, through the eternal Spirit, 
for this very end. 3<#y, In him there is relief againll the 
power of fin, which is one part, and that no fmall p-rt, 
of the mifery which man fell under by his apoflacy from 
God. He is infulted over, and enflaved by fin ; and there 
never was, nor can there ever be any relief from him, hut 
only in Chrift, who has a power whereby he is able to fub« 
due all things to himfelf. He can flrengthen the weak, 
and make the unwilling to be become willing, by a day of 
his power, and turn the difotejlient to the wifdom of the 
juft. Moreover, 

Fourthly ) The Lord Jefus Chrifl is one in whom the fin- 
ner finds a threefold tormenting fcruple fully fatisfied. 
When the Lord opens the Tinner's eyes, and gives him a 
view of his condition, how matters {land betwixt God and 
him, then there are three things which lie exceedingly 
heavy upon the finner. j/?, Where (hall I get one that 
has ability fufficient to undertake for me? The (inner fees 
fo much needful to be done in order to his relief, that he 
can think of none in heaven or earth that is able to relieve 
him. He is, as it were, laid in a grave that has a (lone 
rolled lo the door ; and many a time is he forced to put 
the queflion, Who will roll away the (lone? He fees 
mountains lying in the way, and cannot think of an arm 
fniScient to lift them. In Chrifl only can he be fatisfied. 
He it is who is the "mighty one, on whom the Lord has 
laid help," Pfal. lxxxix. 19. one chofen out of the people 
for that very end, that he might be the flrength of fuc'i 
as put their trufl in him. He is the Lord Jehovah, in 
whom there is everlafting flrength. xdiy, When the Tin- 
ner hears of one that is able, this gives him no relief; 
for prefently another doubt perplexes him, and fills his 
foul with anxiety: Here indeed I fee ability fufficient ; 
Oh ! but I fear he has no mind to employ and lay out his 
ability that way. This made manv, in the days of Chrift's 


flelh, when he lived upon earth, ccme to him with their 
hearts full of fear; they doubted he might not be willing 
to employ his {kill, to lay out his ability for their help 
and relief. " If thou wilt," faid the leper, " thou canft 
make me clean, IVIitth. vii». 2. ; and fo fays the fmner. 
Now, in the difcovery of Chrift that is here made, we 
may fee an anfwer to this doubt. As he is the Lord, 
one that has all power in heaven and earth ; whence it is 
that he is mighty to fave ; fe he is Jefus, one that is wil- 
ling, and to lay out and improve his ability that 
way. But here, 3<//y, Another doubt may Hare the finncr 
broad in the face: There is perhaps wanting a commiifioa 
for the work : the Lord Jefus Chrift wants neither power 
nor will ; but I much queftion the Father's willingnefs. 
This many times flicks long with diftrefled finners. But in 
this perfon there is an anfwer to this as well as the form- 
er: He isGhrift, him hath God the Father fealed, anoint- 
ed, and fet apart for that very work. He it is that hath 
exalted him to be a Saviour, and put power in his hand 
for completing his work, and faring to the utmoft all that 
come to God through him. 

Fifthly^ Chrift, as cloathed with his threefold office, i« 
able to remove a threefold obftru&ion that flood in the 
way of the finner's falvation and happinefs, arifing from 
the nature of God. 1/?, Juftice bid a plea again ft the fin- 
ner, and flood betwixt him and falvation. The fentence 
of juflice is, that he who doth fin is worthy of death. 
Well, the (inner that believes in Chrift anfwers, I am 
dead, I fuffered in Cbrift. 2<//y, Holinefs fays, Nothing 
fhall approach it that is impure. Well, Chrift fays, 1 
have power to purge them from their filth by the fpirit of 
Judgment and ctf burning. 3<//y> But then the difficulty 
remains, as to the difcovery of this to the (inner. If God 
fhould call him to bleflednefs, he could not bear it: but 
here Chrift undertakes to be the mefTenger to impart the 
welcome news, that all thefe rubs are out of the way. 
Thefe things I only name, becaufe I have hinted at them 
already: and hereafter, if the Lord give life and ftrength, 
I may have occafion to treat them more accurately and 
diftinclly. At prefent, we defign rather foundnefs than 
accuracy, rather fatisfacTion to the diftrefled, than plea- 
fure to the curious inquirer. 
*- Sixthly, 


Sixthly j Chrift is one who is able to do the (inner a 
threefold kindnefs with refpecl to his fpiritual adverfa- 
ries. Three things they do againft the finner. 1/?, They 
charge him with things that he cannot deny. idly 9 They 
lay deep contrivances againft him that he cannot difcover. 
3d/y, They fall upon him with a force that he is not 
able to refift, and thereby endeavour his ruin. As for 
thejtfr/?, Chrift puts an anfwer in the Tinner's mouth to all 
Satan's charges again ft him. As to the Jecond, he gives 
him wifdom to efcape his fnares, to know the depths of 
Satan. And as to the laft, he fur nifties him with pow- 
er, whereby he is made more than a conqueror over ali 
enemies that put themfelves in his way. 

Seventhly, That there may be nothing wanting, this 
Lord Jefus Ohrift is one who can fatisfy the mind, the 
confcience, and heart of (infill man. He fill's the mind 
with light; he pacifies the cenfcience, and ftills its dif- 
orders ; and prefenta to the will a fuitable object. He as 
a Prophet opens blind eyes, and enlightens a dark mind ; 
as a Prieft, he flops the mouth of adifturbed and difhirb- 
ing confcience; and as a King, he beftows upon man what 
is fufficient to content his heart, even himfelf, and all 
things elfe. 

Eighthly j To conclude all, he is one offered in the gof- 
pel for all thefe glorious ends to all who need him. He 
has bid all that are weary and heavy laden come to him, 
and has promifed them welcome. He is one whom God 
has in the everlafting gofpel propofed as the object of 
faith, on whom finners are allowed, warranted, uay, com- 
manded to believe, in order to their falvation. Thefe 
things we fhall not any further infift on at prefent. I 
cone now, 

IILTo mention and open up thefe fcripture-expreffions, 
Whereby this duty of believing is held forth, and that are 
of the fame import with that in the text. This is a duty 
whereupon falvation and damnation do depend ; therefore 
the Lord has taken great care to make its nature plain ; 
and becaufe finrers are of many different forts, and have 
different ways of taking up their condition, the Lord has 
exprefled it fo many ways, that every one may fee that 
the duty is fuitable to their circumftances, and exprefled 
In a way that is adapted to their capacity. This inquiry 

we are now to enter upon, may be of great life; there* 
fore we (hall Jhfift at the more length upon it. Some arc 
ignorant of the nature of faith, know not what it is. 
This enquiry is like to lead them into an underftanding of 
that duty, which is the foundation of all others, with- 
out which they fignify nothing in order to the falvatioa 
of fuch as perform them. Others know what faith is, 
but are not confirmed in their apprehenfions of its na- 
ture, and therefore may be eafily induced to think them- 
feh'es in a miftake. To fuch it will be of notable ufe 
to underftand, that the thoughts of its nature lean upon 
the plain meaning of fo many fcripture-expreflions. In 
fine, this inquiry is like to bring down the thing to the 
capacity of every one of you who will give heed, fmce 
fuch as cannot take it up under one notion may under 
another. And 1 might add, that it may be of ufe to 
confirm fach as have faith, that it is fo, and to con- 
vince them who want it, that they dofo. -And, to con- 
clude all, it will give light to the next general head, 
and confirm the defcription we defign to give of it. 
Thefe things have induced me, not only to enquire into 
the feveral 'expreffions whereby the fcriptures hold forth 
this duty, but to infill upon them at fomewbat more 
length than we are wont to ufe upon fuch occafions. 
This being premifed for lhewingthe ufe of this inquiry, 
we come now to enter upon it. 

firft, Then, to believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, is* 
il to look unto him," lfa. xlv. 2Z. u Look unto me* 
and be ye faved, all the' ends of the earth ; for I am 
God, and there is none elfe." And to the fame pur- 
pofeisthatof theapoflle, Heb. xii. k 8. " Wherefore 
feeing we alfo are compared about with fo great a cloud 
of witnefles, let us lay afide every weight, and the fin 
which doth fo eafily befet us ; and let us run with pa-. 
tiencethe race that is fet before us, looking unto Jefus, 
the author and finifher of our faith." I conceive that 
the Spirit of God in this expreflion alludes to the brazen 
ferpent fet up in the wildernefs. The children of Ifrael 
finned againft the Lord; therefore he fent fiery ferpents, 
which (lung them, and many died of their wounds. The 
Lord, in his pity, notwithstanding the diGionourthey 
had done to him, was pleated to ordain the erection of a 



brazen fcrpent upon a pole, that whoever was flung 
might look to it, and be faved from death. Jufl fo all 
men are (lung b/fio ; and all men had died of the wound 
bad not God been plcrafed to fet up Jefus Chrifl, and given 
command, that all who feel the ("mart of fin fhould look 
unto him and be faved. la this e xpreffion we n^ay fee 
what is the nature of faith. 1/7, We fee who it is that 
believe : it is one that is flung, a (inner that is fenfible 
of the fmart of fin. Such, and fuch only, will believe. 
The whole Israelites, fuch as were not touched, or fucji as 
were not fenfible that they were touched and flung by the 
fcrpents, would not look to the brazen ferpent : they had 
no bufinefs to do with it; it was none of their concern- 
ment ; it bad no ufe to them. Juft fo is it with whole 
finners, that were never pained at the heart for fin ; they 
fee no occafion for Chrift, and cannot understand of wh-jt 
ufe be is. 2d/y, We fee here what it is that gives rife to 
faith ; it is a f roar ting fenfe of pre Cent pain and future 
danger. The men that were ihing found themfelves ill, 
and faw ground to dread they might be worfe, fince the 
fling was mortal ; this made them look. And this makes 
finners look to Jefus Chrifl: ; they find the poifon of fin 
already tormenting them, and they fee that this is but 
the beginning of for rows, the diftemper being mortal. 
Sthly 9 Here we fee what it is to which the finner looks ; 
it is unto Jefus, and that as he is God, and a God laying 
out himfelr for the falvation of finners. It is God, and 
none elfe, that mufl fave finners, if they be faved. 4t/iiy 9 
We may here fee further, how the finner looks to him, 
and what he looks at in him ; which is, that he is the 
ordinance of God's appointment for his falvation, and 
propofed as fuch. Moreover, 5/My, Here we fee what 
faith itfelf is ; for this expreflion of it, " looking to 
Jefus, " plainly imports, (1.) That the perfon is convinced 
of the fufficiency of that remedy that God has appointed. 
(2.) Expectation of relief from it. And, (3.) The heart's 
reding here, and t rutting to it for healing, without be* 
taking itfelf to any other thing, from a conviction of 
its own need on the one hand, and of the fufficiency of 
this relief on the other. 
Secondly, To believe on Jefus Chrifl, is " to come to 
So faith ia expreffed, both in the Old and in the 


New Teftament. In that forecited 45th of Ifaiah, we 
find that the Lord preffes his people to believe, under the 
notion of looking to him, in ver. zz. and we find, that, 
3n the following verfes, he promifes that lhey fhall obey 
this command, that they lhall believe; and then he ex» 
prefles faith by coming: «* Surely (hall one fay, in the 
Lord have I righteoufnefs and ftrength ; even to him /hall 
men come; and all that are incenfed againft him (hall be 
afliamed. In the Lord fliall al\ the feed of lfrael be jufti- 
fied, and fhall glory.'* The fame duty we find cxprefled 
by the prophet Jeremiah, in the fame manner : u Return, 
(fays the Lord), ye backfliding children, and 1 will heal 
your backflidiogs," Jer. iii. zz. To which they anfwer, 
-** Behold we come unto thee ; for thou art the Lord oor 
•God," And what their errand is, the promife God makes 
in the beginning of the verfe, and the profeflion they 
make in the following, plainly enough infinuates, it is 
to get healing to their backflidings ; and it is to get 
that falvation from him which they had in vain looked 
for from the hills and multitude of mountains. And 
faith is frequently held forth by this fame expreflion in 
the New Teftament alfo, John vi. 35. 37. u AH that the 
Father giveth me (hall come to me : and him that cometh 
to me i will in no wife caft out. He that comet h to 
me fliall never hunger; and he that believeth on me 
fhall never thirft." And he complains, John v. 40. 
that they "would not come to him that they might have 
life." Now the Spirit of God, expreffing faith thus, 
gives us to underftand, 1/?, What the flate of perfons 
is before they do believe : They are at a diftance from 
God, like the prodigal in a far country, not near his 
father's houfe, where he fuftains many inconveniences, 
fuffers hunger and thirft, is oppreffed by ' enemies, and, 
in one word, meets with all inconveniences that tend to 
imbitter his life to him, and kill him cfut-right at the long 
run. [2.] Here the Lord infinuales to us what hr the 
rife or the occafions of the tinner's motion, or of his 
believing, both upon God's part, and upon the finnef's part. 
Upon the fmner's part it is a conviction, afmarting fenfe of 
prefent want, and of future wrath. He is hungry, and can 
have no food ; he is thirfty, and can have no drink ; and un- 
2tfsbsgt\% food and drink, he knows he muft die. ' He 



finds the prcfent finart and paiu, and knows he mud fufter 
more, if he gets not a fupply. The ftarving prodigal 
was hungry, and would have been glad of the fcantieft 
allowance; but he could not have it in that unhappy 
place where he was. Juft fo is it with tinners, when 
at a diilance from Chcirt ; when the Lord opens their 
eyes, to fee what their condition is, a pre Cent fenfe of 
want following thereupon, is as it were, the fpring 
of their motion toward the Lord Jefus Chrift. On the 
Lord's part, that which occafions, nay caufes, this co- 
ming, is his calling them, and his drawing thcra. He 
calls tnem to come unto him, M-ith. xi. 28. " Come 
unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I 
will give you reft-" And he powerfjlly draws them to 
him : for no roan can come, except he be drawn. There- 
fore we find the Lord protnifing peremptorily in that jnit 
now quoted fcripture, Ifa. xlv. 24. that " unto him 111 a 1 L 
men come/' (3.) We fee to whom a finner comes by 
faith ; it is to the Lord Jefus Chrift, in whom there h 
righteoufnefs and ftrength to be had, which is matter of 
glorifying to poor finners. (4.) We fee what this coming 
Hfelf is ; it is the fame with believing on him. And, [1.]. 
This way of expreiling faith imports, tint the (inner 
defpairs of being relieved where he is. If the prodigal 
could have been (upplied where he was, he would not 
have come home: fo neither would finners. [2.] It im- 
ports a perfuafion, not only of Chrift's fufficiency, but his. 
willingnefs ; or, at lead, that he is not unwilling that 
we mould be bettered by his fufficiency, and have fupplies 
for our wants, according the riches of his fclory. [3.] It 
imports the foul'3 rejection of all other things which have 
any appearance of relief in them ; for when we come to 
one, we go from all the reft. [4.] It imports an expecta- 
tion of relief from him; this holds the foul moving, and 
without this it could not move. In fine, the whole of thin 
raatt-r of deliberation, after felt inefficiency in other things,, 
the foul comes to and acq oie fees in Chrift for falvation. 

Thirdly^ To believe on Chrift, is, " to flee, to run to 
him." He is that u ftrong tower, to which the righteous 
run and are fafe," Prov. xviii. 10. And to the fame pur- 
pofe is that of theapoftle, Heb. vi. i3. where God is fa id, 
ay two immutable things, to provide for the ftrong con- 


folation of fuch as have u fled for refuge, to lay hold o* 
the hope fei before them.'* 

This ex pre (Bon takes in all that is in the former $ for 
coming is included in flying and running, yet the expref- 
fions of running and flying imports fomething more, viz* 
the tinner's being exceedingly moved by a fight of hi* 
danger, and his extraordinary eameftnefs to be out of 
harm's way. The awakened (inner is like the man-flayer 
of old: he was fafe no where but in the city of refuge t 
therefore he run thither. He was obnoxious to juftice; 
the avenger of blood had a comnuflion to kill any murder- 
er he found out of this city. So is it with finners* they 
are in continual hazard of their life. Jnftice has a pie* 
againft them, and purfues them. Death is, as It were,, the 
ferjeant that clofely follows the guilty ; and i£ it over* 
take them before they get into the city of refuge, the» 
they are gone ; it will kill them doubly,, it will put an 
end to their pre lent life, and prove the beginning of eter- 
nal mifery to them : " How excellent," fays the Pfalmift, 
+ c is thy loving-kindnefs, O God ! therefore the children 
of men put their truft under the lhadow of thy wings^** 
Pfal. xxxvi. 7. It is the excellency of God's loving-kind- 
nefs, as revealed to finners in Chtiftjefus, that engages, 
finners to betake themfelves to him, and truft under the 
ihadow of his wings ; as the purfued birds are wont to be., 
take themfelves to the dam, and there to inciter them- 

Fourthly^ To believe is to u roll over our burden uponv 
the Lord Jefus Chrift," Pfah xxii. 8. The word that is 
there rendered trufted, in the tirft language fignifies tolling 
over. He truftedin the Lord, that is^he rolled himfelf over 
upon the Lord. Hence it is that we And our Lord inviting 
fuch as are weary and heavy laden to come to him, that 
they may find reft to their fouls. Sin is one of the heavi* 
eft of burdens ; man would fink under it quite. Every 
one that feels the weight of their fins, will with the Pfalm- 
ift own, that they are too heavy for them to bear. "Mine 
iniquities," fays he, " are gone over mine head t as aa 
heavy burden, they are too heavy for rae,'*Pfal. xxxix. 4, 
They proved a burden fo heavy to the angels that tinned,, 
that it's weight funk them into the bottomlefs pit. They 
are at thh day fo heavy, that the whole creation groans 



under thepreflure and weight of thera, Rom. viii. 22. They 
who have the firft fruits of the Sprit, and fo have, as it 
were, the heavieft end of the burden taken off them, yet 
do groan T being burdened, z Cor. v. 4. The very being 
of fin, though its guilt be taken away, is fuch a burden aa 
the faints find it hard to bear* In every one of thefe we 
might take notice of all the particulars formerly noted 
in the two fcripture-expreflions which we infilled up- 
on ; but it is needlef&to repeat the fame things over and 

Fifthly, To believe on the Lord Jefos Chrift, is to> 

* put on the Lord Jefus," Rom. xiii. 14. u Put ye on 

the Lord Jefus." IVian by nature is, like Adam, naked 1 

and though he endeavour to cover himfelf with fig-leaf 

aprons of his own framing, it will not ferve his turn ; it 

will not hide his naked nefs, nor will it preferve him from 

the dorms of wrath, that are the necetfary confequents 

of fin. No robe can cover him, but that of Chrift's ini- 

peted righteoufnefs v and to believe is to put on Chrift for 

righteoufnefs. Now, here we fee, (1.) What man's (late 

without Chrift is: he has no ornament, the fliame of hia 

nakednefs is feen, and he is expofed to ftorms. (2.) Hera 

we fee what is that cloathing that finners betake themfelvea 

to : it is Chrift ; they come to him for white raiment, that 

ia for beauty and glory, and covering their lhame. (3.) We 

fee wherein, the nature of fait h lies ; and we may take it 

up in three things, [i»] The (inner fees in Chrift what 

a fufficient for ornament, for hiding of his nakednefs, 

and preferring from the injury of the ftorm. [2.3 He 

being convinced of his need, puts Chrift as a covering 

betwixt him and fpe&ators, that when they look to him 

be is not feen r but only Chrift. His deformity is'hidden 

under Chrift's beauty and glory. [3.] The (inner reftt 

here ; he thinks of no other covering or ornament. 

Sixthly, To believe on Chrift, is u to receive him," 
John i. %. u To as many as received him r to them gave he 
power to become the fons of God, even to them that be* 
iieve on his name." And elfewhere it is exprefled in the 
fame manner; only the object is varied,, for they wfia 
believe are faid to receive remiflion of fins, Afls x. 43*$ 
and to receive the atonement, Rom. v. 11. Here we may 
again undcrftand fomc thing of the nature of faith: for 
11 X \xs%> 


here we fee, (i.) Who he is that believes: He is one that 
wants Chrift ; he is one that wants, righteoufnefs ; one 
that is condemned to die, and wants a pardon, (i.)Wc 
fee what it is that faith .eyes,, that the fenftble fuiner re- 
ceives; it is Chrift, and all with him r as offered to hi in; 
for as he is faid to receive Chrift, fo is he faid to receive 
remiiGon of fins, &c. : and it is mod certain* that none can 
feparate Chrift and his benefits ; he that takes one takes 
all. (3) We fee what faith is ; k is the acceptation, of 
what is offered, for the ends for which it is offered. Chrift 
and all his purchafe is made offer of to tinners, and 
that freely 5 and they accept of the offer, and receive 

Seventhly^ To believe on the Lord Jefusj is u to lean 
upon him," to " ftay ourfelves upon him." u Who is this 
that cometb up from the wildernefs leaning upon her be- 
loved?" Cant, viiu 5. that is, believing on her beloved. 
And in the like manner doth the prophet Ifaiah exprefs 
himfelf, Ifa. 1. io. u Who is- among you that feareth the 
Lord, that obeyelh the voice oi bis fervant, that walketh 
in darknefs and hath no light ? Let him. truft in the name 
of the Lord, and ftay upoa his God." Now, here we 
again may fee what the finners irate is, before he doth be- 
lieve: he is in a tottering condition; he is not- able tc 
{land under the weight of that burden he has upon him. 
He is not able to abide the ihock of the ftorra that is blow- 
ing agaiuft him: if he get not fomething to lean to, h<j 
muft fall; and if lie fall, he is cm (lied entirely ; for In 
(lands upon the brink of the pit, and if he falls, he falls 
into that pit whence there is no redemption, if- be mifsf 
ftep, and plunge into the pit, there is no flapping uf 
thence ag-uo : this he fees to be his cafe ; he is feivfible ol 
his danger, and fees Chrift able to fu report him, to efta* 
blifli him; therefore he leans to him; be expe&s- to bi 
able 10 Hand the ihock. of all the ftorms that tan blow a< 
gainft him in his. dependence on ).im. 

Eighthly y To believe on Chi ill, is u to lay- hold oi 
him, ro t «ke hold of his ftrength." " Let him take hok 
of my ilrength, ff-.y the Lord), that he may make peac« 
•with. me, and he mall make peace with me," Ifa. xxvii. 5 
And it is called a taking hold of God's covenant, lia. lvi 
^4« And in the New Tcftamcnt it is called an apprehend 



Ins of Chrift, Phil. iii. 12. u Not as though 1 had al- 
ready attained, either were already perfeel ; but I follow 
after, If that I may apprehend that for which I alfo am. ap- 
prehended of Chrift Jefus." And, Heb. vi. 18. it is cal- 
led " a laying hold on the hope fet before 111." The fin* 
ner it like to fink ; and (eeiug Chrift by him, he catches 
hold of him, to keep him from finking* We might mul- 
tiply other expreffions of faith, fach as cleaving to .the 
Lord, opening to Chrift, fubmitting to the righteoufnefs 
of God, % Kings vtii. 5. Deut. ir. 4. Thefe we pals, 
not defigntng a full enumeration, but what miv lay a 
foundation for the following inquiry, and lead us into 
the meaning of this word ufed in the text. We might 
have infilled in lhewing thefe three or four laft expreffiona. 
to be comprehenfive of all the particulars noticed in the 
two or three firft expreffions : but what is obvious needs 
not be in-fifted upon. We (ball therefore wave trie expli- 
cation of any more texts to this pnrpofe,. and proceed, 
. IV. To inquire what is implied in this duty enjoined 
in the text, Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift* This inqui* 
ry will be eafy, after luch a foundation has been laid in 
the preceding. Believing on the Lord Jefus Chrift, im- 
plies, then,. 

Firfty A fenfe of fin and miferv. This is plain from all 
the expreffions whereby the Spirit of God elfewhere points 
forth this duty. There is not one of them but carries in 
it an indication of this. The ftung lfraeiite is frnfihle 
of his fmart and danger,, before he looks to the brazen 
ferpent. The knows hw want, before he thinks 
of coming to his father's houfe. The man-flayer under- 
ftands his fin and danger, before he fl-es to the city of 
refuge. The burdened finner is fenfible of the weight of 
£11, before he roll it aver upon another: and the like may 
■be faid of all the reft of the expre fiions mentioned \ putting 
on > receiving, leaning to, laying hold of, opening, and 
cleaving to the Lord Jefus Clirift* Al of them plainly 
.intimate this, that a fenfe of fin and danger is the ground- 
work of this duty, iieceffarily prefuppofed to, and implied 
in it* And, moreover, we may not only underftand, 
that the fenfc: of fin and mifery is implied in the duty, but 
alfo what fort of a fenfe of thefe it is, which is requisite, 
and which is implied* And^ 

to* MAFTi RECOVERY Bt tklTK Itf CtmiCT. " 

i. By thefeexprelfions we may fee, that it is a diftinc* 
and particular knowledge of our fiti and mifery. 

The (inner betakes himfelf to Chrift by faith, knows his 
fore, understands well the evil he labours under. It is 
not a confufed and general apprehenfion of danger, fuch 
as perfons who are melancholy fometimes fall under* 
without underltanding what it is, or whence it flows; 
but they can tell diftiriclly what it is that pains them. The 
(lung man knows where he is wounded* The prodigal!' 
can tell what he wants. The man -flayer can tell why he 
makes fuch hafte to the" city of refuge. The burdened 
finner can tell, that it is a load upon him, under the- 
weight of which he is like to be crufhed, that makes him> 
flee to one that has ihoulders able to carry it. 

2. This fenfe of fin and mifery, as it is diftincl, fo it is- 
deep. A great many of thofe who live under the gofpel* 
and are furnifhed with a.iy tolerable meafnre of knowl- 
edge, it may be, can tell pretty diftinctly their fin and 
danger, and, and it may be, know likewife many particu- 
lar fins tliey are guiltv of r yet their fenfe, however dif- 
tinfi, is not deep. But fuch as do beli&ve have a deep 
fenfe of ftn and mifery. It is fuch a fenfe as is fixed, and 
has rooting in the mind; it engrofles the thoughts, and 
fills the mVid with apprehenfion* about the foul's Gate 
and condition. And, moreover, it not hold here^. 
but finks down upon the heart, and takes hold of the af- 
fections, and fills them likewife. Fear, grief, hatred, and 
revenge, take their turns in the foul ;. grief for the of* 
fence done to God j fear for the confequence of it, with 
refpecl to ourfclves ; hatred *gainft fin, and fclf-revenge r 
becaufe of our folly in bringing on the guilt of fo much 
fin upon ourfelvej. Many in the viftble church who will 
pretend the* are fenfible of fin, have never, it may be, t& 
this day been affected with it ; never had any grief, or 
fear, any hatred or revenge againft it,, and themfelves on 
its account. Such perlons, pretend what they will, are 
indeed ftrangers to faith* and one day will be found fo. 
The man that flees for his life to the city of refuge, not 
only knows what he has done, and what fin deferves, but 
moreover has a deep- impreflion of both. What do ye 
think was it that bufied the man's thoughts," when fleeing 
to the cltj of refuge I Certainly his (in and danger were 



the things that (tuck with him, and affecled his heart with 
fear, which made him flee amain to the city of refupe : 
and the like might be faid with refpcct to the other ex- 
preulons of faith. 

3. This fcnfe of (in andmifery is a prefting apprehen- 
sion of both } and this lies in two things. (1.) linnkei 
bis prefent ftate and condition intolerable; 1 iik-j-.j, it 
makes a chriftlefs ftate utterly intolerable. It is 1\j •\n~ 
eafy y it cannot be endured. It is not like that lenf: of ii;i 
which moft part have, and have no mure, that futlcia 
them to live contentedly all their days in the world w'. in- 
ert Chrift. Who of you wil4 not pretend to be fen ALU- c f 
fin? and yet, who of you doth not find it an eafy tiling 
to live in that condition > I appeal to your confcience-5, 
who pretend to be fenfible of fin, whether or not ye con 1.1 
lire contentedly all your days in your prefent (late, had 
yebnt corn, and wine, and oil, all the neceflaries for a 
prefent life ? I am fure mod of you cannot but own, that 
ye would and could dofo ; ye could ea/ily d ; geft fin, and 
get rid of difturbance from that, if things in a world went 
well with yoa. A fad and fure fymptom is this* that hi- 
therto ye are not fenfible of fin, and therefore do not be- 
lieve. (2.) It prompts to diligent endeavours after fal- 
▼ation, as abfolutcly ncccflary. The fenfible finner, as 
be cannot reft and acquiefce with fatisfaciion in his pre- 
fent condition, fo it makes him reft Ms in looking after 

All thefe things appear fo plain from what has for- 
merly been difcourfed, in the explication of the feveral 
fcripture-expreffions which point forth this duty, that it 
is needlefs to infift upon the proof of them by iew fcrip- 
tures. And indeed, though the teftimonies alledged had 
not given fuch pregnant proof of this, the reafon of the 
thing itfelf will difcover it to be indifpenfally neceflary 
to faith, that there be a diftincl, deep, and pre ding fen fa 
of fin. For, (1.) Where there is only a confufed appre- 
henfion of danger, or indiflinft notion of it, it confounds 
and difturbs the finner, and puts htm perfectly out of cafe 
to judge of the fuitablenefs of any relief that is offered to 
him. He knows not where the fore is ; and therefore can 
neither know what would be ufeful, nor where to apply it. 
(z.) If impreflioiii of fin and danger be not deep, and a- 


mount to no more tlu'i Tome notions floating in the brain, 
every thing will carry the mind oiTfrom the gofpel* relief, 
and take it to other thinge. Unlet* the affections be Come 
way or other engaged, we feldom do any thing to purpofe 
in any bufinefs. In tine, a man that feels ibmi pain, and 
fears fome dinger, may defer and neglect his going to the 
phyfician; but one that is under intolerable pain, muft 
take fome one way or other for his relief, and will flick- 
at nothing, if he may obtain it. It is much the fame with » 
thefe Pinners, who have fome fenfe of fin, but are Grang- 
ers to this diilincl, deep, ami preflingapp retention of their • 
fin and mifery, which faith comprehends and implies in iti. 
nature, as it is with one who has fome fore in his leg; he 
knows where the pain is, he feels fome fmart of the pain s> 
but it is not fuch a fmart as di fables him entirely from 
walking or converting with others: he goes indeed unea* . 
fily with it; ay, but he goes dill, and, it may be, fometime* ■ 
he gets rid of the tnoughts of it, and therefore can make 
a Ihift to live in that condition* If one tell him, that it 
will turn to a gangrene, and prove mortal ; he flatter* 
himfelf, that poffibly it may cure of its own accord, or by 
the ufe of fome domeftic remedies; and therefore he will 
rather flay dill in that condition, than go to a phyfician 
who cures by cutting off. Jufi: fo it is with half-awaken- 
ed finners: they never come the length of believing, be* 
caufe their fenfe of their fin is not fo deep as to make them 
in earned think of the phyfician. They hope to get their . 
wound cured at home, by fome eafier remedy than the cut- 
ting off the right hand or foot, and plucking out the eye. 
But where the fenfe jufl now fpoken of is found, fuch an 
one will be fatisfied with none of thofe things. This fenfe 
is not only prefuppofed to faith's firft afliugs ; but, more- # 
over it continues in fome meafure in the foul as long as we 
live here by faith ; and is the fpring of all the after a&ings 
of faith. But parting this, this believing implies, 

Secondly^ Some knowledge of Jefus Chrifl. Hence it 
i*, that we find faith called knowledge by the prophet, Ifa. 
liii. II. " He (hall fee of the travail of his foul, apd (hall 
be fatisfied* By his knowledge (hall my righteous fervant 
juftify many; for he (hall bear their iniquities." By his 
knowledge, thit is, by faith in him, (hall my righteous 
fervant juftify many : now this knowledge is evidently re- 



quifile. From all that formerly has been hinted, in the 
opening up of the fcriptures we infilled on, not one of 
them but {peaks this needful. And here there muft three 
things be known, in reference to Jefus Chrift. 

1. The excellency of his perfon. This is that which 
faith fixes it3 eye upon fir ft. It is him we primarily receive ; 
it is to him we look, we flee, we run ; it is on him we 
lean, we ftay ourfelves, and roll over our burder.s ; there- 
fore his perfon mud be known. We muft know that he is 
God and man in one perfon, " God manifefted in the flefli." 
Now, that this knowledge of the perfon of Chrift is a ne- 
ceffary ingredient in faith, not only appears from the con, 
fideralion juft now laid down, but alio from this, that o- 
therwife we can know nothing of his ufefulnefs to us, fince 
all that has its rife from the glorious conftitution of his 
perfon, is from this, that he is one able to fave loft fin- 
ners : therefore of neceflity this muft be known. 

2. Believing implies the knowledge of Chrift's fulnefs 
to fave. There is no faith without this. It is the know- 
ledge of fufficiency alone that can induce to reliance 5 
and if there be not in Chrift a fulnefs of all thefe things 
that are requifite in order lo the effectuating the falration 
of finners, then he is no meet, no fuitable perfon to be 
believed on : therefore of neceflity he muft be known, as 
44 the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and of 
truth." And this, as was faid before, flows from the 
conftitution of his perfon, which therefore muft be known 
in order to our acquaintance with this. u And the Word 
was made of flefh, and dwelt amongft us; and we beheld 
his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Fa« 
ther, full of grace and of truth." It is from the union 
of the two natures into one, the Word's tabernacling in 
flefh, that this glorious fulnefs of grace and of truth 

3. Believing implies the knowledge of Chrift's fuitable- 
nefs to the finner's condition. There may be fulnefs and 
fufficiency where there is not fuitablenefs. The city of 
refuge, though its gates had been fhut, and the ways to it 
im pa /Table, would yet have been fufficient to have pre- 
fer ved fuch as mould get within it ; but in this cafe, a 
(inner, the man-flayer, could have no relief from it, 
there being no way of the communication of that fuffici- 


ency to him, no way for him to have that fecurity com* 
municated to him. Juft fo is it here, Chrift c loathed in 
human nature is indeed, and could not but have been fufE* 
cient to do all that wss requifite in order to our eternal 
falvation : but in order to fi liners' accepting of him, it 
mud be miderftood, that there is a way of conveyance, 
whereby all this fulnefs may be called ours. We muft 
know him, not only as full, but as he-h?s a {Turned the 
exercife of his three- fold office, whereby all the benefits 
he haspurchafed are made over unto us, and do in very 
deed become ours. But we proceed to a 

Third thing implied in believing. This duty not ooly 
implies the fenfe of fin, and the knowledge of Chrift juft 
now infilled upon, but moreover it implies fome know- 
ledge of the gofpel-offer of Chrift. This is absolutely 
neceflary in order to our acceptance of Chrift. It was 
not enough to fet the man-flayer a running to the city 
of refuge, that he knew there was a city that had gates 
open, and was fufficient to preferve him ; but moreover 
he mwft know, that it was defigned for that purpofe, that 
he had warrant to enter in at thefe open gates, and fo ex- 
peel protection. And here there are two things muft of 
neceflity be known. 

i. That Chrift and all his benefits are indeed offered ia 
the gofpel to poor fmners, and that freely. Hence it is 
that our Catechifm doth thus qualify the object of faving 
faith, while it defcribes faith in Chrift to be a faving grace, 
whereby we receive and reft upon him as he is offered to us 
in the gofpel. 

2. As we muft know that he is offered to us, fo we 
muft underftand what the term9 are whereon he is offered* 
That he is offered freely, doth not hinder his being offered 
Upon terms. If one offers another a fura of money, if ht 
will receive it, he may be faid to offer it upon terras, and 
yet offer it freely : and juft fuch are the gofpel* terms 
upon which the Lord Chrift is offered; whoever will take 
him and nfe him, (hall have him. But to be a little more 
particular, here we may learn what thefe terms are, from 
that of the apoftle, Phil. iii. 3. For ** we are the circum* 
cifion which .warfbip God in the Spirit, and rejoice in 
Chrift Jefus, and have no confidence in the flefh." Thefe 
arc the perfons who have an tntereft in Chrift, who come 


*p to thefe terms; and the knowledge of them is nc- 
ceflarily implied in believing. We muft know, that upon 
thefe and no other terms miy we be faved. ( i ) We 
maft know, that all confidence in the flefti is entirely to 
he abandoned. There mo ft be no expectation of relief or 
falvacion, from any external privilege, or any perform- 
ance of duties. We mnft know, that our own prayers 
and tears can be of no value in this matte. (2 ) We 
rauft know, that we are only to rejoice in Chriit Jefus. 
What it here called rejoicing iselfewhere called glorying; 
that 44 he that glorieth may glory in the Lord." And 
here it is oppofed to a having confidence in the flefli ; 
which fays plainly, that this rejoicing in Chrift jHus is 
placing all our confidence and comfort in him alone. 
'3.) We ninft worlhip God in the fpirit, in the ftnength 
of that fpirit which Chriit did pur chafe for, and beftows 
on fuch'as do believe on him. We mud: ferve God in the 
way of his own appointment. Upon thefe terms is Chriit 
offered in the fcofpei ; and thefe mull be known. The 
knowledge of them is undoubtedly implied in faith, as 
well as the knowledge of fin, and of Chriit, formerly in- 
filled upon. This leads me to the 

Fourth thing implied in believing, and that is, the 
heart's clofing with the gofpel-terms jnft now mentioned. 
This is the principal thing, without which there can be 
no faith, no believing ; for, if wo fhould fpeak ftriclly, 
this 13 faith, and all the other things mentioned are only 
pre-requifites; yet they are fuch as are not only pre- 
fuppofed to the fir ft aQings of faith, but muft alfo ac- 
company it, in fome meafure, as long as it continues in 
the foul ; that is, as long as believers are on earth. Now, 
this acceptance of Chrift upon the gofpel-terms takes in 
there things. 

I* A renunciation of all other things. Hence it is that 
believers are faid to have no confidence in the flefii ; that 
is* they have no expectation of relief from any of thefe 
things corrupt nature is wont to incline us to rely on. 
The foul's motion to Jefus Chrift, is a motion from all 
other thing*. The foul that rolls the weight of all over 
upon him, doth not lean to any thing befides him. All 
the expreflions formerly opened up do furliciently intimate. 
to us, that this renunciation of all confidence in other 


things belongs to thcnatuTc of faith, and raufl goto the 
conftitution of it ; and the fame the fcripturc plainly -enough 
declares, when it exprefsly enjoins finnerii this as a part 
of their duty, or rather expretfes the whole of this duty 
by it: "Afhur ilia 11 not fave us, we will not rick 
upon horfes, nor will we fay any more to the work of 
our hands, Ye are our gods; in vain is falvation looked 
for from the hills, And from the multitude of maun* 
"tains," fays the returning church, Hof. xiv. 3. and Jer« 
iii. 23. And thefe two texts are a good commentary 
upon that forecited expreflion of the apoftle, " and have 
i;o confidence in the fielh." To have no confidence iqg2be 
flefh, is to expect no falvation from the hills and multi- 
tude of mountains, from Alhur, from horfes, or the work 
of 011 1* own hands. 

But that I may be a little more particular, faith or be- 
lieving, has in it an exprefs renunciation, (1.) Of our 
own wifdom. Carnal man is exceedingly inclined to 
trull to his own flefliy wifdom, which is enmity againft God, 
-and to advance this as of ufe to direct him to true happi- 
refs. This was that which befooled the heathen world : 
they thought by their own wifdom te reach happinefi, 
to know God. But in the wifdom of God, " the world 
by wifdom knew not God;" and the believer becomes a 
fool, that he may be wife, perfectly renouncing his own 
wifdom and fubferibing himfelf a fool, owning himfelf, 
with wifeAgur^ more bmtifh than any man. (2.) Believing 
h&s in it a renunciation of our own ftrength and power. 
Man is conceited exceedingly of his own ability. As long; 
as man bis a leg of his own to walk upon, he is fure never 
to look near Chrift Jefus. But no foorier has he a mind for 
Ghrift, but prefently he confeflcs his own im potency. 
If the man be able to ft and alone, what means he to lean 
upon another ? If he be able to bear his burden, what 
needs he roll it over upon another? (3.) Believing has 
in it a renunciation of man's own righteoufnefs. The 
natural man goes about with the carnal Jews, who were 
44 ignorant of the righteoufnefs of God, to eftabliih hia 
-own righteoufnefs, not fubmitting to the righteoufnefs of 
God." But the believer "rejects thi», and owns with tlie 
church, Ha. ixiv. 6. " We are as an uncjean thing, and 
m)1 our righteoufnefs are as £lthjr rags*" The believer 



fees his righteoufnefs all ragged* He fees here one duty 
wanting, and there another entirely miffing, which makes 
his righteoufnefs • no better than a ragged coat, which is 
full of holes* and he fees what remains to be all defiled j 
there is fome wanting y and what is not fo is filthy. The 
bed fall fhort of, and are entirely deficient as to the prac- 
tice of fome duties ; and filthinefs adheres and cleaves to 
what they do perform r therefore they renounce their 
own righteoufnefs. (4.) Believing, or faith in Chrift, 
renounces all foreign relief $ I mean,, relief from other 
things befides Chrift. It will not truft to privileges, to 
fairifj, to any creature. If any would entice believing 
finners to follow any other y then faith anfwers the tempter 
as Peter did t>ur Lord, in an addrefs. to Chrift himfeif,. 
" To whom fliall we go ? thou haft: the words of eternal 
life." Now, all thefe are comprehended in that of the. 
apoflle, *• having no confidence in theflefh," And there- 
fore we find him- rejecting his own wifdom, for the excel* 
leney of the knowledge of ChTift J'efus ; rejecting his 
•wo ftrength, for acquaintance with the power and effi- 
•acy of Chrift'a death ; renouncing his own righteouf- 
nefc, that he might be found in Chrift ; and counting all 
the privileges he had, as one of Abraham's children, one 
in covenant with God, one of the ftri&eft feci of the 
Jews, to be but lofs and dung, for an intertft in Chrift. 
2. There is, in believing on Chrift, a con fen t of will 
to the terms oflhegofpel, as good and defirable. And 
who can refufe this, fave fuch as are blind ? The gol* 
pel terms may be reduced, as has been hinted juft now, to 
three. (1.) Seek not farvation from that wich cannot 
fave you, have no confidence in the flefh. (2.) Take 
freely whatever ye need* Need ye righteoufnefs, or need- 
ye ftrength, or need ye wifdom, or redemption h All 
thefe ye may have freely pf Chrift,. who is made of God 
to all them that believe, wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanclifi- 
cstion, and redemption ; in whom all believers have 
righteoufnefs and ftrength *, in whom all the feed of.Ifrae), 
hy this means, (hall be juftified and glorified. This is 
to rejoice in Chrift: Jefus. (3.) Lay out and improve 
what ye receive. Ye are not bid fpin a- web out of your 
own bowels; but ye are bid improve what is given to 
you, yo are bid worihip God in fpirit ; ay, but it 

is by the a Gift a nee and direaion of the Spirit that 
is given freely. The will clofes with ihefe terms as good 
and agreeable; and who could refufc to do fo, were there 
not in him the carnal mind that is enmity again ft God ? 
The world can conceive nothing more reafonable, no 
terms more encouraging, favourable, and condefcending, 
than thefe ; therefore they are embraced as worthy of the 
love, goodnefs, mercy, and wifdom of God. 

3. Hereon there en foes an acquiefccnce and reft of foul 
3ii Chtift Jefus for fa 1 vat ion. The finner is no more tof- 
ftd in perplexing inquiries after a Saviour. Now it fixes 
upon him, according to the propofal made of hinijelf ; 
and it will not look near any other thing.. It has tried 
them, and found no reft in thtm: Now it ccmes where it 
finds reft ; and therefore here the foul is in a ble/Ted com* 
pofure. It has confidence in Chrift Jelus, rejoiceth in 
. him, and glories in him. challenge for fin, 
it points it to Chrft Jefus, and lets it fee what he has 
done, and fetks 1 o other anfwer to confeience*. If the 
threats of the law fet themfeives againft the finner,. he 
gets in behiad Chrift's righteouCnefs to fcreen him, and 
here he thinks himfelf fecure ; therefore he will not be- 
take himfelf to any thing elfe. Pie refts in this as fafe, 
and feeks not any other thing to (belter him from the 
wrath of God, to fit him for every good word and work. 
Thi;s we have opened up in fome meafure to you t he-na- 
ture of faith, fufficiently in order to our preftnt defiga. 
We proceed now, 

V. To inquire what this falvation is, which a convin- 
ced finner, believing on the Lord Jefus Chrift, (ball aifu red- 
ly obuin. Upon the former rerfe, we did obferve, that 
this word is taken in a lax fenfe, not only for a deliver- 
ance from evita,. but for a collation of good things ; that 
is, plainly, it takes in all that is requifite in order to reiiv- 
ftaie the finner in that happy condition whence Adam fell, 
or even into a better ; fo that falvation and eternal life 
do not much differ. Now,, here I (hall firft inquire, what 
falvation thus taksn. implies, and then name fome of 
its properties. 

As to the firfty falvation implies thefe three particulars, 
to which all others may be eafily reduced. 

ij}, Deliverance from wrath. Sin defervea wrath.: 



fhe (inner fees it a-com-ing, and feels its beginning, which, 
makes him flee for refuge from the wrath to come. Thus 
it was with the jailor in the text : he was like a man go* 
ing abroad, who feels the beginnings of a bitter (torn?, 
and fees the clouds gathering, which portends a heavy 
deluge ; and not being able to abide the very beginnings 
of it, he timeoufly betakes himfelf to a covert ; he runs 
to feek (he Iter from the dorm. So this awakened (inner 
feels fome of the drops, as it were, of the wrath of God 
in bis face already t and he knows he is not able to abide 
any more, and therefore cries out, What muft I do to be 
laved? Where (hall I get (belter ? And here his queflion, 
is anfwered, Believe on the Lord Jefus A and thou /halt be 
faved. He will fcreen thee from that dorm of wrath that 
has begun to fall down with fo great violence. 

zdly. It implies a title to life eternal* The man wonld 
be happy, and how he (kail be fo he cannot tell. "He 
fears he may never attain to it, and this pains him. Once 
man was oa a fair way to eternal life; but now he is far 
out of it, and never like to obtain it. This makes the 
poor awakened man fhiver, and cry our, What muft 1 d* 
to be faved ? I cannot think of falling fhort of happinefs: 
how dial I I come at it? Believe on the Lord Jeju^ /xnd 
thou /halt be faved. There is the anfwer : thou (halt have 
a title to eternal life ; " for he that bclieveth the record 
that God hath given of his Son, pntteth to his feal that 
God is true." And this is the record that God hath given 
of his Son,, that 4t - there is life eternal in him," and that 
44 he that hath the Sob hath life," i John v. n, ia 

3<//y, It implies a full pofleflSon of this life eternal, and 

perfect deliverance : What muft I do to be faved? How 

(ball I get out of harm's way, be meet for, and be actually 

.poffefied of that u inheritance t&at is incorruptible and 

nn defiled, and fades not away ? Believe on the Lord Jefus 

thrifty and thouflialt be faved. Ye (hall be made meet for, 

nay,' put in a&ual pofTefiSon of, this blefled inheritance, 

and (aved from all thefe dangers that lie in the way. Ye 

fliall be kept by the power of God through faith unto fal- 

vation, and (hall receive the end of your faith, even the 

falvation of your fouls," i Pet. i. 5. 9. Thus have we 

given fome account, in the general, what falvation in?* 

S a- pliei.. 


pl:cs. We ihall now proceed to give fonie account of its: 

properties, whereby we (hall fee further into its nature. 

Many properties of this falvation might be named, and* 
in fitted on, where it needful we fhould enquire, into them 
all. 1 (hall fatisfy. name and infift a little on a. 
few of the irons confiderable properties of it. And, 

I. It is a great falvatien. So the Spirit, of God exprefg-- 
ly calls it, II eb. ii. 2, 3. . *«»If the- word fpoken by an- 
gels wasftedfalt, and every tranfgreffion and difobedienc* 
received a juft rccompence of reward, how fhall-we efeapa 
if we neglect fo great falvation, which at the firft begatv 
to be fpoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by. 
them that heard him." And indeed*, if we fliall take a 
TJew of it, we flu II find it deferves the title or. character, 
given of it.. It is called great falvation :.and it is fo f 

( 1.) In regaxd of /// contrivance* It is not a thing that 
faRs out by chance, without any project,., forecaft, c* 
forethought; no, but it is- one of the deep contrivances 
of Heaven. It is, the matter-piece of divine wifdon% . 
There was much wifdom in the contrivance, of the world,, 
much in the creation of man, much appears in the works 
of providence ; but infinitely more in tin*. The raani» 
fold wifdom of God is to be feen in the falvation of the 
church, Eph. iii. 10. . wifdom lies in pro poling right 
ends to one's felf in. acting,, and finding out and ufing 
fuitable means, and ordering all the circumftances of 
action to the bed advantage. Now, all thefe parts of 
wifdom are eminent in this falvation. Never was therea. 
wore noble end than what God had in the falvation of the 
church, [i.] What more fuitable to God than that he fhould 
glorify his mercy and. grace, the only attributes which,, 
before the fall of man, had not been glorified in any remark- 
able inftance ? God had made his infinite wifdom, pow- 
er, and God-head, legible in the creation of the world. 
His mo^al perfections were copied out in the fouls of men, 
and in the nature of angels. Thence one might learn, 
that God was glorious in holinefs, goodnefsj bounty,, 
juftice,, and all other moral perfections: but all the while 
there was no veftige, no footftep of mercy ; nor could 
there be,, till once fin entered into the world. Vindic- 
tive juftice was eminent in the miferable ftate of fallen an- 
gels, who were juftly plungec; into remcdilefs ruin and 


Mnm ki.iuv£kx bx r/inxi. tm V/Xiivioi. an 

u&ion ; only mercy ftemed veiled and hid. There 
nothing by which this darling attribute could be 
vu 9 or God receive any glory on the account of it. 
as not feen in either the works of creation or provi- 
e: nay, there feemed by thefe no room for it; fince, 
i fuppofition of the fall, where only there was accefs 
it, the door feemed perfectly (hut againft its appear- 
, by the peremptorioefs of the threatening, u In the 
thou cateft thou (halt furely die." And indeed man 
all the reafon in the world to believe it fhould be fo„ 
anly from the veracity of God, but from the fad and 
mtable proof of God's holy feverity, that was given 
le ruin of the angels that finned, [z.] What more 
:hy. the great Lawgiver of the world, than to make it 
ar to the conviction of all, that the laws he at firfk 
»ed were exactly fuited to the ends of government, 
glory, the fafety, the comfort, and peace of the fub- 
, and the honour of the Governor ? This end furely, 
ny other,, was worthy of God the Lawgiver of the 
Id ; and this he had in view in the falvation of the 
ch ; and this he obtains by this means. The obedi- 

of the Son of God proclaims, that it is man's honour 
>ey : the peace that, his people, when renewed by his 
e, do find in obedience, proclaims it their intereft to 
r ; the pain they fuiTer in the ways of fin, declares all 
calumnies caft upon the ways and laws of God aboroi- 
y falfe. [3 J What end more fuitable for him. who 
undertaken the proie&ion of his fubjecls, which is r.n- 
liontebly a part of a governor's bufinefs and work, 
1 to give an eminent proof of his abilities for defeat- 
the mod crafty and. fubtle plots, and breaking the 
itefl force, of his and his people's enemies ? And this is 
e in a fignal manner, in the falvation of the church. 
, What more fuitall* end for him who had all the jar- 
[ elements to manage,. all the oppofite tendencies of 
igs to govern, and dirtel to one common end, than 
jive a proof.of his wonderful fkill in reconciling the 
ningly oppofite and irreconcileablc interefls of juflice 

mercy? Never was there any end more noble, more 
able,, than that which God had in view in the con- 
anceofthis falvation. He defigned to complete the 
orcry he gave of his attributes, to honour his laws, 



to expofc the folly and weaknefs of his great enemy, to 
(how his glorious wifdom in compofmg the greateft differ- 
ence, reconciling the mod feemingly crofs and irreconci- 
lable interefts of juftice and mercy. 

Thus we fee the end was wife : nor were the means and 
the timing of the means, iefs fo. Much of wifdom wzs 
there laid out in fitting the perfon of the Redeemer, to- 
open a door for the glorification of the grace, mercy, and 
love of God, to repair the honour of God 7 * law, and of 
his authority, to baffle Satan's power and policy, and to 
reconcile and amicably compofe the oppo/ite interefls o-f 
fpotlefs juftice and tender mercy. Much of wifdom (nines 
in the timing of this difcovery, and in the application of 
ir. Well might it be called manifold wifdom that fhines 
herein. And juftly may that falvation which is thus* 
wifely contrived be called great, in refpecl of that wif- 
dom which did contrive it. 

(2.) This is Indeed a great falvation, and cannot but 
be fo, if we confider the author §j it y God, the great God. 
He it is who contrived, and claims the honour of the ac- 
complifhment of this work of the falvation of the church,. 
as his due : and this honour is given him cordially by all 
thofe who are faved. They find themfelves obliged to- 
own all other things unable for contriving, or for ef- 
fectuating a work fo great as is the falvation of tinners* 
* 4 In vain is falvation looked for from the bills, and from 
the multitude of mountains ; in the Lord alone is the fat* 
vation of his people,'' Jer. iii. 23. And this acknowl- 
edgement of the church is confonant to that declaration 
which God gives, Ifa. xlv. 21.— u There is no Godelfe 
Wide me, a juft God and Saviour, there is none befide 
me." All the perfons of the glorious Trinity have their 
diftinft hand and concernment in this falvation. The firft 
propofal is owing to the love of the Father, the accofa- 
plifhmentof it to the Son, and the application of it to the 
Spirit. Sure it muft be a great work indeed, a great fal- 
vation, that bufied the thoughts of the blefled Trinity 
from all eternity, and employed, if I may fo fpeak, their 
hands in time. And fuch is the falvation we fpeak of. 

(3.) It is a great falvation, if we confider the way of 
its accompli/fitne.nt } the means whereby it is brought about, 
and tbefc. were the wonderfully great condefcenfion of the 



Son of God, humbling himfelf fo far, as to take upon 
him "the form of a fervant," of finful roan, Philip, ii. 6, 
7. his inexpreffibly great differ ings in foul and bodv, and 
the exceeding greatnefs of his mighty power put forth in 
the application of thefe great things which were pure In- 
fed, not with things of fo fmall a- price, fo inconfiderable 
as filver or gold, or fuch corruptible drofs, but a wilh 
the precious blood of Chrift," 1 Pet. i. 18. 

(4.) It is great falvation, if we confider the manner of 
its publication. God himfelf brought the firft news of it to 
Adam, and did afterwards upon feveral occafions carry 
on the difcovery, by adding to that firft revelation, and 
giving new- beams of light to it, as the various occafions 
of the chnrehdid require, Heb. ii. 2.. 3. But that which 
is moft remarkable, and of the great eft confideration, is, 
that the publication of this was a part of the work which 
a bumbled God, while tabernacling among ft men, took 
to himfelf; he went about preaching falvation. 

(5.) This falvation deferves to be called great, if we 
take a view of the great evils we are hereby liberated and 
faved from, (1.) Hereby we are faved f rom great pollu- 
tions. We are all by nature as black, as filthy as hell; 
we hare by fin debafed ourfelves to hell y we are fo filthy, 
that God, the holy God, cannot look upon us without ab- 
horrence; wc are abominated by the holy angels, and even 
by ourfelves, ,wben our eyes are opened. There is fo 
much filthinefs in every finner, as is fufficient to make him 
loath himfelf, if he but faw himfelf. Job, who had as 
great a teftimony given him by God, the beft judge, as 
ever man had, yet loaths and abhors himfelf, when God 
lets him fee himfelf. Mult not that be great filthinefs 
that makes not only God, the holy God, loath man ; but 
even man, finful and polluted man, abominate himfelf > 
And is it not a great falvation to be faved from fo great 
filthinefs ? Sure it is. It i» a filthinefs that the nitre and 
foap of human endeavours has been many times tried up* 
on, but to no purpofe. Nothing can wafh out theftain, 
but the biood of God : and to' he faved from fuch filthi- 
nefs, is a mercy of no fmall consideration : it is indeed 
great falvation. (z.) It is falvation from the guilt of fin. 
Siu carries in it an obligation to pun i (lime nt, Rom. viii. 1. 
It tics fin and puniflucejit together*, and confeauently is 

like a ftrong chain whereby the firmer is bound to deft ruc- 
tion, fo fad that he cannot get away from it. He is tied 
to hell ; and fure when one finds hirofelf thus knit to 
deftrueVion, be will think it a great falvation to be fared 
from it, to have this knot loofed. (3.) It is falvation 
frcm the dominion of Jin. Sin is a great tyrant, and im- 
pofes a mod heavy and intolerable yoke upon all its vaf- 
fals. We may fee what a tyrant it is, by the many tra- 
gical events with which the world is daily filled. We fee 
fome kingdoms foaked in blood, fome families buried in 
couttmpt, fome men ruined in their, reputation, others 
in their bodies, others in their eftates : and if we enquire 
who has done all this in if chief, we fliall find that fin lias 
done it all. It has made one part of a nation imbrue 
their hands in their neighbour's blood ; it has hurried 
men upon thefe foolifli and hurtful practices, whereby they 
have ruined their families, their eftates, their names, their 
fouls, their bodies. Sore, then, falvation from the reign 
and dominion of this infufferable tyrant, defervts to be 
it y led great falvation. (4.) It is falvation from the mo- 
kfting power of the remainders of fin that dwells in beiiev* 
trs: and this is great falvation. 60 grievous are the 
workings, ftirrings, motions of this enemy, that it makes 
the children /of God many times look upon themfelves as 
wretched, and cry out with the apoftle, Rom. vii. 24. " O 
wretched man Jfhat 1 am, who thai I deliver me from the 
kody of this death ?" And to be freed from that which 
makes a man account 'himfelf mrferable and wretched, is 
-certainly a great falvation. (5.) It is falvation from the 
turMtJk of God j and how great a mercy is this > * 4 Who- 
knows ihe power of his wrath V And who knows how 
great a deliverance it is to be faved from the wrath to 
come } Such only can who have their eyes opened, to fee 
the danger they are in from the imminency of the whirl- 
wind of the Lord's anger, that goeth forth with fury, 
and falls with pain upon the 'head of the wicked. (6.) It 
irs falvation from Satan's *flavery: and fure to be faved 
from his flavery, is a great falvation indeed. He " rules 
an the children of difobedienee:" and where he reigns, he 
jiever treats one of his (laves better than he did that poor 
child, of whom we have an account in the Evangelrfts. 
He takes them, and #* tears then, and brnifet them, 



throwing them fomctimes into the fire, and fometim?s into 
the water/* Matth. xvii. 14. Mark ix. 17. Luke ix. 39.' 
He runs them into very different evils, fire and water, 
but equally iteftruftive to their life. And to be faved 
from fuch treatment, from fuch an enemy, is furcly a great 
falvation ; a net will eafily be acknowledged fuch, l»y all 
who know how great a mifery it is to be under fuch a 
yoke. (7.) It is falvation from the u fling of death," and 
from the " fear of death," We read of fome that * 4 aU 
their lifetime have been in bondage through fears oi 
death," Heb, ii. 15.; where it is likewife declared a part 
of Ch rift's undertaking* to deliver fHth : u Forafmuch 
then as the children are partakers of flefh and blood, he 
alfo hirafelf likewife took part of the fame, that through 
death he might deflroy him that had the power cf death, 
that is, the devil ; and deliver them who through fear of 
death, were all their lifetime fubjetl to bondage." Who- 
ever takes a view of thefe evils, which this falvation and 
deliverance has a refped to, cannot but own it a great 

(6.) To add no more conflagrations for the illuftratton 
of this property, it muft be owi?ed to be a great falvation, 
if we confider what are the advantages that follow upon our 
deliverance from thefe evils mentioned. I only name a 
few of them. (1.) Injftead of thefe filthy robes which fin- 
ners are naturally cloathed in, they are clad in garments 
of falvation j garments of right eoufnefe. 4t I will," fays 
the church, Ifa. lxi. 10. il greatly rejoice in the Lord, my 
foal fhall be joyful in my God ; for he hath cloathed me 
with the garments of falvation, he hath covered me with 
the robe of righteoufnefa, as a bridegroom decketh him- 
felf with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herfelf with 
jewels." ,(*..) This falvation has in it a title to a noble 
•inheritance. Guilt is the Tinner's, the unfaved wretch's 
title to wrath; it makes it ftire to him: but fuch as are 
faved, are made fans upon their believing, John i. 12. 
" And if fons, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs 
with Chrifl," Rom. iii. 17. (3.) They who are partakers 
of this falvation, zreput under the dominion of grace. Thty 
are not under fin, but under the dominion of grace, Rom. 
▼i. 14.; and where grace bears fway, there is indeed perfecl 
Jiberty^ Faith working by love is the ijpring of all the 


obedience they perform to all thefe commands, which are 
not grievous, but, on the contrary, arepleafant,and hare 
not only a great reward in the iflue, but even in the time 
wherein obedience is performed to them ; fee Gal. v. 6. 
! John v. 3. Prov. iii. 17. Pfal. xix. 11. (4.) The Spirit 
dwells in all believers , and abides with him for ever, 
1 John iv. 13. Rom. viii. 9. And hereby relief is pro- 
vided a Rain ft that uneafmtfs that antes from the remain- 
ders of fin here; for u through t-he Spirit believers do 
mortify the deeds of the "body, that fo they may live," 
Rom. viii. 13. And by the abounding of the fruits of 
the Spirit, they are brought to that frame, that f pi ritual 
mindrdnefs, which is life and peace, Rom. viii. 6. ; and 
not only is there, by the indwelling of the Spirit, pro- 
virion thus made againft the remaining power of in* 
dwelling fin here, but moreover herefey there is aflu- 
ranee given of full freedom from k. The Spirit will 
at length entirely cleanfe the foul : and he is the earned 
of glory, of that ftate where believers are entirely freed 
from fin, 2 Cor. v. 5. It is by him they are fealcd to 
the day of their final and complete redemption from fin, 
in all its concernments, filth, guilt, reign, power, and 
being, Eph. iv. 30. (5.) In (lead of wrath under which 
the tinner was lying, by this falvation he is brought into 
a ftate of favour and acceptance with God, through the 
beloved, Eph, i. 6. In (lead of war with heaven, they 
have peace ; for, " being j 11 (lifted by faith, they have 
peace with God,'* Rom. viii. I. And of how great con- 
fideration this is, the Pfalmifl well underftood, who, 
Pfal. xxx. 5. tells us, " That in God's favour is life," 
and, Pfal. Ixiii. 3. that his u loving kindnefs is better 
than life." (6.) Satan's flave is placed upon a throne by 
this falvation : and is not this a great privilege? Sure it 
is ; and this is the privilege of all overcomers ; and fuch 
fli all all believers be: " To him that overcometh, will 
I grant to ftt with me in my throne ; even as I alfo over- 
came, and am fet down with my Father in his throne," 
Rev. iii. 21. (7.) Inftead of feared death, everlafirng 
lifefliall be the privilege of the nations ofthetn that are fa- 
vedy John iii. 36. " He that believeth on the Son, hath 
everlafting life 5" and here we may hold. All words 
are for ever loft, who can tell, what a life this is? A life 



*>fGod, a life of comfort, a life of promife in heaven; 
and fuch a life for ever. May we not conclude from the 
whole, that this falvation, which is the contrivance of 
£0 great wifdom, has fo great an author as God, is 
brought about by fo great means, proclaimed by fo great 
a perfon as the only begotten of the Father, frees from fo 
great evils, and entitles to fo great bleflings, is indeed a 
great falvation ? We mail proceed now to a 

2d Property of this falvation. As it is upon the ac- 
counts mentioned, and not a few others, a great falva- 
-lion, fo Jikewife is it a complete falvation. It is called 
falvation to the uttermoft, Heb. vii. 25. " He is able 
to fave them to the uttermoft that come unto God by 
him." Now, the completenefs of this falvation, we may 
take up in four particulars. (1.) It is falvation from 
all evils. It is not only falvation from many, from great 
evils, as we did at length make appear under the former 
head, but is falvation from all evils. It extends to all 
forts cf evils. We might mention many forts of evifs ; 
but thfy are all eafily reducible to two moral evils or 
fins, penal evils, or punifhment. Now, this falvation 
-extends to both. It is falvation from all fin : u The 
blood of Jefus Chrift cleanfeth from all fin," 1 John i. 
9. It is justification from all things, Acls xiii. 39. " Be 
it known to you, therefore, men and brethren, that 
through this man is preached unto you the £ >rgivr nefs of 
fins; and by him all that believe are juftified from all 
things, From which ye could not be juftified by the law 
of Mofes." And if we be faved from all moral evils, fal- 
Tation from all others follows in courfe. (2.) It is fal- 
vation from all degrees of all thofe evils. It might have 
extended to ail forts of evils, and yet not have com* 
prehended a deliverance from all degrees of them : but it 
is complete in this refpeft; as the blood of Jefus Chrift 
-cleanfeth from all fin, fo it cleanfeth from every degree ; 
it cleanfeth fully. As the Spirit of Chrift is able to Tub- 
due all fin, fo is he able to fubdue all fin fully. In a 
•word, Chrift makes thorough work of ic ; and fuch 
as do believe {hall be faved from all their fears, from all 
their enemies, from all their fins, and all their forrows; 
Chrift will u prefent them without fpot or wrinklr, or 
an/ fuch thing." No ftain, no bleicifli, dull be hf« on 


them, before he have done with them. (3.) It is corn^ 
prehenfive of all f pi ritual bleflings ; nayj of every good 
thing. " God will give grace and glory., And he will 
with-hold no good thing from them that walk uprightly,'" 
Pfal. Lxxxiy. 11. And; belie vers are fa id to be " blefled 
with. all fpiritual bltflings in Chrifl Jefus," Eph. i. 3. 
(4.) It comprehends all thefe bleflings .in their perfection. 
While in. this world, the enjoyments of the faints are not 
complete ; but they lhall be fo ere it be long. ' Grace 
■will ripen into glory. That which is in part fhall be don« 
3\vay, and that which is perfect will come in its room. 

3'//y, This is a fuitable falvation. How fuitable it 
is to God, we have hinted already; and therefore X fhaW 
tfuly name a few things which may evince its congruity 
to fuch poor. Tinners as are convinced of their need of 

(1.) This falvation is exceedingly fuitable to fuch * 
poor (inner, becaufe it is near. One that is in a great 
/•xtrcmity, to tell him of a remedy in fome far country, 
at a great diftance^ will rather increafe than help his dif- 
tiuietment. Such a remedy, .may be fay, is fufficient 5 
but how fliall it be got? who will bring it to me/? 
and may I not be dead and gone before it arrive ? So 
might the convinced finner fay, did we tell him of a S4- 
viour that were to be met withal in fome remote country^ 
or after the courfe of fome years ; his perplexity would 
hereby be iqcreafed. His cafe requires fpeedy relief ; it 
will not admit of long delays: and this .falvation is exact- 
ly adapted to his condition, as the apoftle fhews, Rom. 
x. 6. 9. " The righteoufnefs which is of faith fpeaketh on 
this wife, Say not in thine heart, Who (ball afcend into 
heaven? (that is, to bring Chrifl down from above 1 ) 
or, Who (hall defcend into the deep } .(that is, to bfing 
Chriffc up again from the dead). But what faith it? The 
woYd is nigh thee, even. In thy mouth, and in thy heart., 
that is the word of faith which we preach, That if thou 
/halt confefs with thy mouth the^dord Jefus, and fhalt 
Relieve in thine heart, that God hath railec* him from the 
dead, thou ihalt be Caved." This falvation is near in the 
.offer ; it is near in its advantages. As the offer brings it 
clofe home; fo the advantage of it is prcfently to be ob- 
jtaintd. The jailor foon got eafe.; and fo may every co»- 



winced finner, in the fame method ; he may obtain, if not 
prefent fatisfaclion, yet prefent Cafety. 
. (2.) This falvation in its terms is fuited to the needs 
and defircs of a convinced (inner. He cannot purchafe 
falvation; therefore falvation freely offered is fuitable to 
him. If money were required of fuch as come to the 
market of grace, the finner would never look near it : but 
when all tha't need are bid come, and take and have all, 
without money and without price, then he finds a mar- 
ket to his- mind, falvation according to his with, perfectly 
fuch as he would have* 

(3 ) It is fuitable io its nature to his want*. As it is 
falvation upon the very terms he wiihes, fo all the blef- 
fings he needs are to be had upon thefe terms: needs he 
pardon? he may have it ; needs be repentance? he may 
have it : in a word, if he needs grace or glory, he ma/ 
have them. 

{4.) The fecuritv offered is fuitable to the very defires 
of fuch an one. The coiivinced finner is now deeply fen- 
fiblc of the concern, moment, and importance of falva- 
tion; and therefore he would not willingly hazard it upon 
a fmall /ecurity. He would not venture fo much upon 
iome weak probability, he would have the higheft feenri- 
ty in this matter, which is of the higheft importance. 
And what greater fecurit/ can he defire for his falva- 
tion, than God's covenant and pxomife, confirmed by his 

4/^/y, This falvation is called eternal fafcation y Ifs. 
xlv. 17, " But Ifreel ilia 11 be faved in the Lord with an 
everlafting. falvation ; ye (hall not be aihamed nor con- 
founded world without end." And we are told, fieb. v. 9. 
** That Chrift being made perfect through fnfferings, is 
become the author of eternal falvation unto a-l them that 
obey him." It is eternal falvation upon a thieefold as- 
cohiiU (it) It is eternal falvation in its deiTgn and con- 
trivance, the fruit and product of everlafting love. The 
father's drawing finners, in time, into a compliance with 
the terms of falvation, is the fruit of everlafting love,. 
Jtr. xxxi. 3. "The Lord appeared of old unto roe, fay- 
ing, Yea, I have loved: thee with an everlafting love; 
therefore with loving kiridnefs have I drawn thee." (2.) It 
is everlafting falvation, becaufe it is falvation frcm ever- 


lading evils. " He that believes not {ball be damned ;'* 
that is, as the Spirit cf God comments upon it elfewhere* 
he (hail be puniihed with everlafting definition from the 
pre fence cf the Lord, and the glory of his power," 2 Thef. 
i. 9. (3.) It h eternal falvation, becaufe it entitles to, 
and puis a man in poflclHon cf eternal blelKngs. u He that 
bclieveth on the Son hath everlafting lift," John iii. 36.. 
Thus have we fecn what this falvaiion is> in itfelf, and. 
in its properties. We proceed, 

VI. To demonftrate the truth of the doctrine, that, 
fuch as do betake themfelves by faith unto, cr believe on 
the Lord Jcfus Chrift, (hall afluredly be faved. And this, 
we make good, 

Fir/ty From the eternal and immutable pnrpofe of 
God, that he that believes (hall be faved. Great con t efts 
there have been among Chriftians abcut the decree* cf: 
God ; but fcarce ever any yet had the confidence to al- 
ledge, that God h?d not decreed this. Such as will allow 
lead to the decrees of God, are forced to own, that be 
has purpofed in himfelf, that he fhat believes (hall be 
faved ; and when God has purpofed fo, who can contra* 
di£r, or who can make him fall (hort of whatever he has 
purpofed ? Since it is unqueftionabie, from the revelation 
that Goi hath made of his will, that he has purpofed the- 
falvation of ail that do believe, it mitft of neceffity be 
fo, that fuch lhall infalfiby be fared. Could any believer 
fail (hort of his bappinefs, of the falvation which God 
ha3 purpofed in himfelf to beftow on htm r it mult flew 
from one of two ; either a change in God's purpofe, or 
God's falling (hort of his intent. But neither of the 
two can poffibly be. (i.) As for God's purpofe, it muft 
of neceflhy be unchangeable, like himfelf: u He is God, 
and changes not," Mai. iii. 6. Should God change, he 
would lofe his name, ** I Am that I Am." Upon this 
ground it is, that the wife man fays, Ecc). iii. 14. "I 
know that whatever God doth it (hall be for ever." God 
is "the Father of lights, with whom there is no varia- 
blenefs, neither fhadow of turning 1 ," James i. 17. That 
man is changeable in his purpofe, flows from his weakoefs, 
and from his ignorance of events. His purpofes are founded 
upon a fuppofition, or at mod a probability, that things' 
Ibatt be fo and fo ; and when things fall out other wife than 
*-- \va* 


was ex peeled, man mutt fuit his purpofe to the (late of things. 
Bat the n.atter is far other wife with God, who doth not 
therefore purpofe to acl To and fo, becaufe he feeth fucli 
things will fall out ; but thiugs fall out fo, becaufe God 
purpofeth in himfelf that tbey ihould fo fall out. All 
things are wrought by him according to the courfel of 
his own will; and known to him are all his works from . 
the beginning. Again, man changes his purpofe, becaufe- 
he knows not at fir ft what is beft to be done: but the - 
•matter is nothing fo with God. (z.) As for the event 
of the purpofe, .that rauft be infallible, . God cannot fall 
fhort of his purpofe, .if we will take his own word on it : 
"The grafs withereth, the flower fader h, but the word 
of our God (ball (land far ever," Ifa. xi. 8. And -again, . 
<' I an God, and there is none elfe ; I a in God, and there 
is.none like roe ; declaring the end from the beginning, . 
and from ancient times the things that are not yet done: 
faying, My counfel fhall (land, and I will do all my plea- 
fare," Ma. oclvi. 9* 10. . And well may he tey he will do 
fo, (ince none is able to refift his will, he that doth it, . 
mud firft grapple with Omnipotence. ii The Lord of 
hods hath purppfed, and who (hall difannul it? his hand 
is (I retched out, and who (hall torn it back ?" Ila. xiv. 
37. u If he works, who can let ?" Ifa. xliii. 13. " None 
can (lay his bad r ~or fay unto hire, What doft thoa ?" 
Dan. iv. 45. What is then purpofed by God muft be in- 
fallibly certain, that fuch as do by faith betake themfelves- 
jo JefusChrift, (hail befaved. 

Secondly, The faithfulnefs of God in the promife is en- 
gaged for it: fo runs the promife, u He that believes 
ihall be fayed." When a man's purpofe is not declared, 
Jie is indeed accountable to hi mfelf for any change or alter, 
atron of it, but not to others ; but if he declare it open- 
ly, efpecially if he turns his purpofe into a promife, in 
that cafe he is brought under a more public and folemn tie 
to ftand firmly to what is engaged. So had this been 
a purpofe concealed in the bread of God, if I may fo 
fpeak ; however he himfelf fhould have been engaged for 
its accompli(hment, yet we had in that cafe nothing to 
fay: but God by his promife makes himfelf a debtor ; 
fuch is his condefcenfion to his own creatures. God 
cannot fu fie r a believer to fall ihort of falvatioa, as mat* 
T.i... uti. 


tcrs are now dated, unlets be thereby fall into difgrace 
and contempt ; which is as impoffible as it is for him to 
refign his Godhead. Certain it i», therefore, upon the 
account of the promife of God, that a loft (inner, betak- 
ing liimfelf by faith to the Lord Jefus Ch rift, fhall be fa- 
ved. This will appear indeed of great weight, if it be 
confideredy I. That there is not only a promife, but a 
covenant. 2. That this covenant has feals appended to 
it, for the ratification of it. 3. That Chrift is the Sure- 
ty of this covenant. 4. That all the bleflings promiffb> 
are bought by Chrifl at no lower rate than that of hi* 
own blood. 5. What he has purchafed he made over in* 
a' teftamentary way, by way of legacy, to believers. 
6. This teftament being confirmed by the death of the Tef- 
tator, there is no altering of it. 7. The Holy Spirit, if 
1 may fo fpeak, is left executor of his latter-will; there- 
fore it is utterly impoflible that any believer fhould mifs 
of falvation. Thcfe things we have only named, becaufe. 
we haften to the improvement of this truth; which we 
fhall come to, afrer we have handled a 

Third argument for proof of the truth under, confidera- 
tion, and that is taken from the experience of fuch as do 
believe. And becaufe this argument is, it may be, lefs 
underftood, therefore I fhall infift fomewhat the more* 
largely upon it. That I may prove it certain that be- x 
lieversare faved, from experience, I fhall inquire, i/?,What 
it is that fuch as do believe experience? arf/y, How we 
know that they do fo? for their experience figni firs no- 
thing to hs, nnlefs it be made known in fuch a way as mayv 
give it fome weight. 

As to the V?, we fay, (1.) All believers, at death, do 
attain the full poffeffion of this great, complete* fuita-. 
ble, and eternal falvation : they enter into reft, being 
conduced fafe to glory, by the glorious Captain of his. 
people's falvation. But this is not that which we princi. 
pally defign to infift upon, as an evidence of the cer-. 
tainty of the falvation of fuch as do believe. Where- 
fore we fay, 

(2.) That fuch as do believe, even in this life, bave^ 
fome experience of this falvation, upon their believing on 
the Lofd Jefus Chrift. We do not fay, indeed, that all 
Mievers have the feme degrees of experience; or can 



give -alike diftincl account of their experiences: Mitt I, is 
we fay, that all who do believe, upon their believing, 
have fome txperience ; and fueh as are diligent, and do 
carefully improve that fpiril which is given them, where- 
by they may know the things tha-t are freely given them 
ofSodi may underftand, fri fome meafure, if not all, yet 
moft of the experiences we (hall mention. Ye may eafily 
underftand* from what has been at great length difcourf- 
ed to you, that this falvation comprehends a- deliverance 
from evil,, and a grant of all that is good* Now, we 
Jhall name fome experiences- that believers, upon their 
believing, obtain, both of the one and of the other. 

[i.] Then, fuch as do by faith receive Jcfus Chrift-, 
upon their believing, have a gracious experience of a be- 
gun deliverance from wrath. Whereas, before their be- 
lieving, they were under fears of wrath, and faw them- 
selves in imminent danger of inevitable ruin, fo that they 
were much difquieted ; now, upon their believing, they 
find fomething of a blefled calm. True it is,, indeed, they 
do not always prefently find reft, full reft I mean ; yetj 
upon their reception of Chrift, there is ever fome begin- 
nings of reft, andfomewhat of a begun deliverance from 
thefe excruciating and tormenting fears, which formerly 
did appear intolerable. The cafe of a believer, at fuch a 
time, may be like that of a man,, who, falling over a 
dreadful preeipice,,gets hold of forrething which he is fure 
is able to fiipport him : fudian one, though he be in fome 
degree free from that dreadful fear he was under, may yet 
be under ibme apprehenfions of danger from his own abil- 
ity to hold the grip he has gotten. Juft fo it is with a 
poor convinced finner : at fome times, before Chrift is 
difcovered,. he is in the moft lamentable cafi imaginable; 
he finds hirofelf falling headlong into ryin and mifery, 
and this frightens him terribly ;• he fees the pit beneath 
him, and finds himfelf haftening thither; and therefore \s 
in a dreadful confternation, while there is li nothing but 
a fearful. looking for of wrath and fiery indignation : ?> 
while he is in this cafe, (Shrift is difcovered ta him ; he 
fees him fufficient to fave him, and underftands on what 
terms he may have him ; he is pleafed with them, and lays 
hold on Chrift? and thence there enfue fome beginnings 
of reft* though he may ftill be in fome fears that he mav 


lofe the grip; and thii begun deliverance from the fears 
of wrath, is a pledge of that full and complete freedom* 
which he has ground to expect. 

[2.] Shiners, .upon their believing -on the Lord Jefus*- 
Chrift, have fome experience of begun falvation from the 
dominion of fin. ** The law of the fpirit of life in Chrift 
Jefus makes them free, in fome t*eafure y from the law or 
fin and death," Rom. viii. a. I know, in deed, J here may 
be greater complaints of On after believing than ever.,,, 
aud its power may be felt more than formerly ; yet every 
one that truly doth believe, has fome experience of a be* 
gun deliverance, from the reign and dominion of (in* 
However fin may make more It if in the foul, yet it has . 
not fo much power as formerly* Now- there is not that 
willing compliance with-it as formerly there was in all 
its commands: now its-. title is difputed,..its commands 
are rejected ; and when any of them are complied withal* . 
there is a force put upon the foul in its fo doing. . 

[3.] They experience^ fome beginnings of deliverance - 
from the guilt and filth of fin in their approaches to God* . 
Before, when they beard of God, they were, like Adam,-, 
ready to run away and hide them felves ; -they were afraid 
to look him in the face: but now they begin to feel • 
fome more confidence in their approaches to, God. Thty 
draw near, and are not fo frightened ; nay, they have 
fome hopes as to the iflue of thefe their approaches to God* „ 
Tiiefe and many fucb experiences of a begun falvation, . 
from evils have all believers, jf they would be at. pains ta# 
obferve them. . 

[4..] They likewife have fome experiences of the free- 
dom of Ch rift's fubjefls.. They tind a freedom in thefer- - 
vice of God 1 ; it becomes natural and eafy to them. They ■* 
find jiot obedience fo hurtful as once they thought it ; nay, t 
now thty -find a ddight. and refremment in it, which is - 
indeed fomething of the, beginnings of -that fatisfaQion : 
with GbdVliktnefs, ..which is to be completed fully in • 
heaver, . 

[5.] They experience many times the beginnings of 
heaven in fome refrefhing taftes of the gracious communi- 
cations and intimations of God's love to their fouls. In 
fine, all of them, upon their believing, doexperience, in 
Jcis. or iu m,are, Cbrift as the hope, of glory in their hearts* . 



S*nc dawning* of hope there are in ih< d-.ikell and molt 
difconfolate believer that lives: for \vh«-re there it no 
hope, there can be no ufe of means ; it is hope of fuc eel's 
tJiat is the fpring of aOion. 

Thefe and many iuch experiences do even- the weikcft 
believers (ome time or other ti'.id. That they are not 
more clearly decerned, to the comfort of fuch as have 
th«m, is, paft all pe rail ven tut?, in a great meafure owing 
to their own negligence and want of observation Now 
thefe things are evidences of the truth under cor fide ration* 
When Gnners upon their believing, do experient- the be- 
ginnings of that falvation which God has promifed them, 
they may comfortably, and without any hefitation, waic 
for its completion, expecting firmly, that he who has be- 
gun that work will complete it ; that he who has be^un 
the accompli foment of his promifes will- in due time full 
accomplifh them.. Now,, ihcfe experiences being of n 
irte for proving the truth to others, unit fa they can be 
known fatisfyingly by them, we (hall, 

zrf/y, Shew, in a word, how we come to know that be- 
lievers do find fuch things upon their believing. And this 
tf e do, . 

(i.) By the account we have of the experiences of be- 
lievers in the wore* of God* To go no further than the 
text, who more affrighted, who more: terribly ihaken, and 
under greater horror,, than the jailor, when he is tremb. 
ling and putting the queilion, Sirs, uhatmuft Tdotohe 
javed? Well, what becomes of him afterwards, when 
he believes on the Lord Jefus Chrift ? Look to the 34th 
verfe of this chapter, and there we (hall find him rejoicing 
and believing.. The like account have we of thofe who 
were " pricked in their hearts, and cried out, Men and 
brethren, whatmuft we do V 9 ' A&s ii. 37. As perplexed 
as they then were, yet, upon their believing, the (late of 
their affairs was perfectly altered ; for « they did eat 
their meat with gladncfs and finglenefs of heart, praifing 
God, and having favour with all the people," ver« 46, 47. 

(2.) We may know this, as from the teftimony cf God,, 
fo from the tefthaony of believers in our day« Though 
tnere be but few, yet we hope there are not wanting fome, 
who will readily and cheerfully give in their teftimouy 
to the fame truth, and own, thar, upon. their believing,. 



they have had Come experience of t'e things mentioned, and' 

of not a few which we have not mentioned. 

. (3.) Though they (hould hold their peace, yet we might' 
even with our eyes fee the truth of what is afferted.i 
Have we not fome times feen fome graceiefs and even 
the profane wretches, who have been mad upon their own • 
ways, (lopped in their progress and career ? Has not the 
Lord fhaken them, and filled them wi:h his terro.s? and 
has not this courfe of- believing calmed them ? Have they 
not viiibly been delivered from thefe fears of wrath, which* 
had gone to fuch a degree ? Has it not been clearly feen,- 
that they were freed from that dominion of fin, -under which 
they formerly livedi Surely thefe things are obvious proofs* 
that, upon believing on the Lord Jefus Chrift, fuch perfont 
have been made partakers of fome beginnings of this great 
falvation, and that as an earned of the whole* Several o- 
ther things might have been added for proof of this great 
tuth : But 9 pafling them, we (hall now come to make fome 
practical improvement of this great truth. 

. In the improvement ef this truth, we (hall firft draw 
fome general doctrinal inferences ;, and then proceed to 
trial, which will lead us into a. more clofe and particular ap- 

lsitfo, then, that a convinced {inner, believing on the • 
Lord Jefus Chrift, (hall aflu redly be faved ? Then, 

1. We may hence infer, That faith is a moft valuable hlef 
fag* Well might the apoftle call it precious faith* 1 Pet. 
i. x.; for not only is it precious in itfelf, but it is unfpeak- 
ably fo in re f peel of its confequences. It, like a chain, 
draws CJhrift and all his purchafe after it : it is big with 
many and great mercies. There are great and precious 
prom ifes fraught with the great and precious ble flings of the 
gofpel, nay, with Chrift hirafelf; and precious faith lays 
hold upon the promifes of the life that now is, and of that 
which is to come, of grace and glory, and makes them all 

2. We may fafely hence infer I ike wife, That the preach- 
ing of the tuori is a great blcffing; fince " faith comes by 
hearing, . and hearing by the word of God." The whole of. 
this the apoftle plainly enough declares, Rom. x. 13. "Who* 
f&ever (hair call upon the name of the Lord Jefus (hall be fa* 
Ted*. How then (hall they call on him in whom they 


Share not believed ? and how (hall they believe in him of 
whom they have not heard * and how (hall they hear with- 
■oot a preacher ?" 

3. Then we may infer, That futh at do believe^ whatever 
-their ctrcamftaaces -may be at prefenr, are in an unfpeakably 
■happy condition- They have an inrereft in the great falva- 
tjon ; and what lofles will not this com pen fate and make 
«p ? How rich are they who have heaven, and all the means 
leading to it, as theirs ? They have a good title to, and 
ihall at length be aAuaHy poiTerTed of, that rich inheritance 
-of the faints in light, James ii. 5. " Hearken, my beloved 
■brethren, hath not .God chofen the poor of this world, rich 
in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promifed 
to them that love him." 

4. Affurance of Jakvathn is attainable. If falvation be 
•fure upon our believing, then we may be fully a flu red of 
iaivation ; for one may know certainly whether he believes 
.or not, whether he be content f accept of and clofe with 
■the Lord Jefus Chrift upon his own terms. This is not on- 

ly knowable, but it may be more eaiily difcerned than 
•mod do apprehend. Were we but, with any meafure of 

ferioufoefs and concern, turning our eyes inward, we could 

•not but know how our hearts Hand axfecled towards 
•Chrift, and the gofpel- method or falvation; but of this 
more afterwards* 

5. Perfrverance in faith is not the condition of falvation, or 
at leaft that which founds oar title to it ; for whoever be- 
lieves (hall be faved. If once a perfon believes, then he 
has a right given him by the promife of God to eternal fal- 
vation. The promife of God doth not run thus, Believe, 
-and if ye perfevexe in believing, then ye (hall be faved ; 
bat, Believe and ye fhall be faved. Once lay hold on and 
accept of jefus Chrift for falvation, and then faved ye fhall 

6. We may fafely infer, from the do&rine infilled upon. 
That unbelief is felf -murder, and that of the worft fort. It 
murders the foul eternally. Hence it is, that it is faid to 
be a rejecting the counfel of God againft one's felf, Luke 
vii. 30. " But the Pbarifees and lawyers rejected the coun- 
sel of God againft themfelvee ;" that is, to their own ruin : 
aad fo it may be faid of every unbeliever j he rejecls the 



counfel of God to his jown deftru&ion and ruin. But thcfe 
things we only mention. 

We now proceed to improve this do&rine for trial. It 
H fo, that it it certain 9 that a. convinced (inner accepting 
of, or believing on the Lord Jefns Chrift, fliaM a&ifedly 
be faved ? Then all who would be fared, are nearly con- 
cerned to try whether they do believe or not. And that I 
may ftir you up to this duty, 1 ihall lay before yon fbmc 
few confide rations* And, 

1. Confide r the moment and 'importance of the matter* It 
k a trial whereon not your worldly eftate, nor any other 
petty temporal concern hangs; but your life lies- upon if* 
and that even the life of your fouls. When we bid yon 
try, whether ye believe or not, it is- as much at if we bade 
you try whether ye (hall be damned or not. Unbelief is 
the damning fin, by way of etninency z all other fins, with- 
out thif, will notf cannot damn thole who. live binder the 
vgofpel ; but this alone will; for " he that belirvith not 
(hall be damned/' <Faith on the other hand, will fave. 
God has tacked faith and fahration together -; and it paHes 
the power of all the devils in hell, or men upon earth, or 
fin in the heart, to break the link* Now? is not that. a 
matter of the greateft concernment ? Is not this a que A ion 
which is worth your while to be fatisfied about* whether 
ye (hall be faved, or whether ye (hall be damned \ 

2. Confider that ye had need to try, whether ye .have 
faith or not ; «« for all men have not faith," a Thef. iii. 

s. indeed 1 confefs, if all that live under the gofpel had 
faith, there were lefs occafion for trying it : but jincc it is 
quite otberwife, fince there are fome men, even wiihin the 
verge of the church, who have not faith, every one of you 
is concerned, the matter being of fuch confequence, to try, 
whether ye be amongft thofe wicked and onreafpnable men 
who want it, and fo (hall bt damned, or nor* Nay further, 

3. There are but a very few among the fwarms of |>ro- 
feflbrs who have faith; and therefore certainly ye are near- 
ly concerned to try whether ye may be among thefeftfu 
Our Lord tells us, that few (hall be laved, Luke xiii. 23. 
« Many are called, but few are chofen," Matth. xxii. 14* 
Therefore there are few believers ; for all believers are fa- 
ved and chofen ; and none (hall believe but they who ace 
" chofen to falvation, through falsification of the Spirit, 



and belief of the truth.' 4 Now, is it not the great con- 
cernment of every one of you to be putting the queflion to 
yourfelves, Am 1 among the few who believe, and fhail be 
faved ? or am 1 not ? If we (hould tell you, that before j c 
go from this hoofe, God would ftrikc fome one of this af- 
feinbly dead, every one would be anxious to know if he 
were the perfon ; and now, when we tell you, that the 
greater part of this afTembly have nothing betwixt them and 
hell but that brittle thing life, were it not very proper that 
every one (hould put the queftion, Am 1 among the few 
who believe, and (hall be faved? or among the many who 
believe not, and confequently fhall be damned ? bee Ifa* 
liii. i. 

4, Confide r, That many have been deceived iv this mat* 
ter. They have thought that they had faith ; and others, 
it is like, have thought fo concerning them ; and yet it has 
been found quite other wife in the end. The Laodiceans 
thought themfelves " rich, and encreafed with goods, and 
that they flood in need of nothing," Rev. iii. 18. while in 
the mean time they were " poor, wretched, miferable, 
blind, and naked." And our Lord tells us, " Not every 
one that fays, Lord, Lord, (hall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven, but he that doth the will of my father which is in 
heaven," Mattru vii. 21. Think ye that ye do believe ? 
Well, others have thought fo likewife, and have been mis- 
taken ; and may it not be fo with you ? and if it may, 
bave ye not reafon to put the matter to trial ? Efpecialiy 

5. That a deceit or miftakt in this matter is of the nucrfi 
con/equence imaginable. I might enumerate not a few of the 
bad, deftrucYive, and raining confequences of it ; but 1 fhall 
only name three. ( r.) It makes men ncgleft an opportuni • 
ty that is never to be recovered again* Opportunity is 
drawn with a hairy iorefront, and bald behind ; and fure* 
if in any thing the emblem was fignifkant, it is here. Men, 
while under the gofpel-difpenfation of mercy, have an op- 
portunity of making peace with God, and of fee u ring their 
eternal concerns ; but if once time be gone, then there is 
do more accefs for Tinners to treat with God about this 
matter* Now, a miftaken apprehenfion, that one does be- 
lieve, when really he does not fo, irakes him flight this 
golden opportunity, .this choice feafon, which can never 

U be 

be retrieved. Many think they believe already, and fo 
put all exhortations by themfelves, as belonging to other*, 
and not to them. (2.) This mi (lake expofes them to a 
confounding disappointment. It buoys them up with hopes 
of heaven and happinefa, fills them with big hopes and expec 
rations of glory, and then hurls them down headlong into the 
black t ft defpair, into inevitable mifery. (3.) This miftake 
brings upon them eternal and intolerable, as well as irrepa- 
rable mifery. It muft ofneceftity plunge them headlong 
into the pit whence there is no redemption. Jr is not 
one's apprehending himfelf to have faith ; but it is faith 
itfelf that faves ; and the want of it inevitably damns. 

6. Confidfr that // is your inter eft to put this matter to a 
fair trial, be the ifiue what it will. Some of you, it is 
like, may think otherwife; ye may poflibly apprehend, 
that it is your intereft to deep on in that pleafant dream, 
that ye have faith ; becaufe if once ye put it to a trial, 
and ji be found that ye want it, then y« muft take up 
with that melancholy .conclusion, that ye muft be damned, 
To fuch I only Cay, in a word, (j.) This plea were fome- 
thing reafonable, if it were poffible for you to fleep ever on 
in this dream ; but this cannot be fo. Ye will be obliged* 
tvzn though unwilling, to fee and know, before it be 
Jong, whether ye have faith or not. (2.) Ve might fay 
fome thing for yourfelves, if it were poffible for rhoie 
who want faith ever to come by it ; but this cannot be faid. 
But further, 1 add, either you indeed. hive faith, or ye 
want it : and which foever of the two be faid, it is cer- 
tainly your intereft to put the matter to a trial. 

If ye want faith, then it is your intereft to know fo 
much; For, (1.) One of the greateft impediments will be 
taken out of the way of your believing. Nothing is fo 
great a let to faith, as a groundless conceit that one has ix 
already. (2.) Hereby likewife- ye will be helped to fee the 
neceffity of faith. (3.) And this will put you upon the dili- 
gent ufe of the means : and who can tell but the iflue will 
be comfortable, and what it wanting may be made up thro 9 
the mercy of God.. If ye continue under this deceit, ye 
are cerrainly ruined : if ye fee your miftake, ye have a* 
leaft a pcradventure for happinefs* 

Again* if ye have faith, it is paft all doubt your intereft 
to bring it to trial : For, (1.) Before ye try and $nd that 


re have faith, ye want the comfort of it. Safety indeed 
refults from the being of faith : for he that believes (hall 
be faved : but foiid peace and comfo't refults from the 
knowledge of onr own faith. While we kno.v not that we 
have frith, we know not but the wrath of God may be av- 
oiding on us ; we know not but we may be on the way to 
dertru&ion ; we know no: but rhe Lord may turn us next mo- 
ment into the pit: and what comfort, what peace* nn 
people have in a fuch a condition ? (2.) While we know 
not that we have faith, God gets not the honour that is his 
an questionable due from all believers. As faith is his gift, 
fo we are indifpenfably obliged to be thankful to him frr 
it: but this we cannot be till once we know that we have 
faith. Thus God is robbed of the glory doe to his name : 
nay, many times he is fignall'/ di (honoured, by believers 
denying his goodnefs to them, and refuting to acknowledge 
what he has wrought in them and for them. In one word, 
It is certain, fooner or later, all mud be refolded in this 
queftion, whether they do believe or not ; the only queftion 
is whether it be our iotereft to be refolved now when 
there is accefs to reclify what is found amiff, and to get 
what opon fearch is found wanting : or afterwards, when 
there is no place for altering any thing in your condi. 

7. The authority of Cod fhoold in this matter prevail 
with you, 2 Cor. xiii. j. " Examine yourfelves whether ye 
be in the faith ; prove your ownfelves; know ye not your 
ownfelvef, how that Jefus Chrift is in you, except ye be 
reprobates r" God commands exprcfsly, nay, doubles his 
command to this duty ; whereby he at once checks our 
backwardnefs to the duty, and insinuates the importance 
and neceflity of it* 

8. To add no mote, con fide r that it is a flrong evidence of 
the -want of faith* to negleft an enquiry after it, &uch as will 
not judge themfelves, have reafon to fear that they (hall 
be condemned of the Lord. Such as have faith, will 
prize it highly; and fuch as do prize it, will think it 
worth their while to inquire, whether they have it or 

Since, then, we have made it appear, to be of fuch near 
and deep concernment to you all to try this matter, I (hall 
now, for this end, 

1. Stt 


i. Set by fime forts of perfint among jou, who without 
all doabt are unbelievers. 

2. I (hall &iewyo»f /*#r »mr£f by which Come do de- 
ceive thcmfrlves. 

3. I fhall lay down feme true marts whereby ye may 
kno.v certainly ihat je do believe. Now, of ihcfe things 
in ouie*. 

pnji, We fay, we fhall fct by feme per Cons who arc, paft 
a .'I )j .-rad venture, unbelievers, There ere fiat men wkcje 
Jim 90 btfire them in to judgment ; force ui\belie\ers who have 
ihcir na«ne writ upon their forehead. It is medic's to talk 
of aop lying marks to them. We need 'not bid a drunkard 
or a nteaitr try ihemftlvcs whether they believe or not : 
wc may tell tkera plainly they do rot believe, and that 
thertiore they arc under the wrath of God- Therefore, 
be (ore we proceed to deal with clofe hypocrites, whofc 
fir.s 60 follow after, we fhall fet afide fome, wbo without 
ail doubt want faith, and therefore, if they ccntinue in that 
eftate, (hall be damned. And, 

1. All of you who ixt gro/lj ignorant, a re to be reckoned 
among this fort of perfons. How many are there in this 
hcufc, who are grchly ignorant of God, x>f Jcfni Chrift, 
and of them/elves, who know no more of thele things 
w'bich do belong to their peace, than if they had been born 
in Turkey ! We are grieved to find fuch ignorance among 
yrvu. Well, O ignorant (inner*! we tell yon in God's 
name, ye are unbelievers. If we (hould ilk you, when wc 
came to deal with ycu on a fick bed, or a death-bed, do 
yo believe? It is ft range to think with what confidence you 
would tell, you do believe. But flatter not your own- 
ftives ; if ye he grofsly ignorant, believers you are nor, )Ou 
cancer be: For, (1.) None can believe, unlefs they have a 
new hear', and a new fpmt given them ; faith being a fruit 
of the Spirit in a renewed mac, and not a fruit of the flefti, 
or of a corrupt unrenewed nature. Now* wherever this 
new heart is, there is of neccility tht knowledge of God ; 
for a new heart is a " heart to know God," Jer. xxiv. 7. 
(2.) None can believe who know not their need of Chrift. 
" The whole need not a phjfician, but the fick." Ncir 
.kill iuch as do not know their difeafe,. ever enquire af- 
\cr one that can cure it. What occafion (hould per fens 
.vho arv Igr^ of their own mifery find for a Savi- 
or- "" our ? 


en? And how can thrv prizes Saviour, who knox r.oc 
his worth? And ii w can they fiKhrace liim, * ho ncihcr 
know that he 4 »hv'Cii, nor the trrms .vfijrcon he i< i»i ? 
Knowledge is fo n^ccl^y tu fai r I- , r!n' it is i:-r ■.i': i '»ic ;: 
(hould be without 1: : it is expruVi by kivwlrrg*-, Im. 
f. 3. "By his knowledge (hall my righteous Servant juftiiy 
many." It is fo much all.ed to it, that the working 
faith in conversion is expreffed by a " frauflation out of 
darknefi into God's marvellous light." Lay a fide, then, O 
ignorant (inner I all pretences to faith* We, in the name, 
and by the authority of our great Lord and Mailer, do dif- 
charge fuch of you'as are thus grofsly ignorant to make any 
pretentions to faith; for ye have no reafon to do fo, ye 
have no warrant ; and the re fore ye do it crofs to the mi:i J 
and will of God*. Now,, if all who belong to this one fort 
in this congregation were fet by to a corner, how great a 
multitude of unbelievers, old and young, would we fee ? 
And O what a fad fight would it be, to fee you fet by your* 
reives, and all of you carrying upon you the (lamp and fu- 
perfcription of Satan, ready to be Seized by him as his pri- 
soners, and thruft into the pit t 

2. All who are optnly profane* who live in the habituai 
and cuftomary practice of open and notorious fins, are to be 
numbered amongil this fort, who, paft all perad venture, are 
unbelievers* Ihc fcriptures are very plain in aliening this. 
What is unbelief, if not to deny God ? And fure the fcrip- 
ture reckons fuch as live thus, denyers of God. it is faid 
of fuch, that "-they profefs to know God, but in their 
works do- deny him,, being abominable, difobedient, and to 
every good work reprobate," Tit. i. 16. And what can 
be more exprefs to this purpofe, than what the apcftle 
James difcourfes at great length, chap, ii- A fet ot men 
there were in his day who were profane, but yet had high 
pretences to faith. Thefe the apoftle there fmaitly ie proves 
and endeavours to convince them, that the devils may have 
as good a claim to faith as they have. " Thou believed/' 
fays he, ver. 19, 20- " that there is one God, thou dost 
well; the devils alfo believe and tremble. But wilt thou 
know, Ol vain man, that faith without works is dead." 
And ver. 26. " For as the body without the fpirit is dead, 
fo faith without works is dead alio." And a dead faith is 
no faith at ail. Lay afide, therefore, O profane wretch ! 
U a \o*c 


your pretences to faith. Will ye lie, fteal, ("wear, and com- 
mit unclcannefs, and yet pretend to faith I Will net our 
God he avenged of fuch hellifh impudence as is this ? Sure 
he will. Hut to be fomeuhat more particular, we do, 

(l.) Charge fuch of >ou as arc citfttmary /wearers, to lay 
afije all pretences to fjith. Ye are certainly unbelievers* 
and ?s fure as the eternal God lives, (hall be damned, if you 
continue in this your impiety* Our lot iscaftinan unhappy 
a»e, wherein men are grown intolerably bold in blafpheming 
the name of God : nay, not only fo, but not a few glory in 
their ihame, and boaft of ir, that. they can out-do others by 
fwearing more and.grearef oaths !. Be aflonifhed,,0 heavens 1 
Bs ye very delolate! Has any of the nations ferved their 
god* fo ? The poor Americans, who worflnp the devil, will . 
not treat him (o ill, as a fet of men called Chriftians, nay 
more, Reformed Chriftians,. Proteiianls,. do the greit God of 
heaven. O w.hat a wonder of divine patience is it, thai 
God does tut da(h dow.n the world about the ears of fuch 
firmer*, that he fends them not alive into hell! O what 
hearts \ what trembling hearts will thefe men have, whea 
ere it be long, they (hall find God (halting the earth terribly* 
when he ct comes out of. his place to puniih them ?'* Such< 
monfters as have torn God's name by hellifh blafpheraies, 
how will they look, when the Almighty God fhall grafp 
them with his omnipotent arms,., and " tear- them in pieces* 
and there (hall be none to deliver them," none that dare in* 
tcrpofe in their behalf? What hearts will they have, who 
by their monftrous oaths have made God's jealoufy burn 
a g air. ft them, when a little hence his wrath will flame fo 
high, as. to diffolve the elements with fervent hear, and 
pour down the vifible heavens like fo much boiling lead 
upon the heads of fuch God-daring finners ? Would to God 
there were no fuch monfters in this congregation ; none 
fuch hearing me this day, who boaft of and glory in their 
fwcaring. If there be any fuch monfters here,. I do, by the 
authority of the great God, charge fuch either to repent of 
their impiety, or to be gone, and leave this a&mbly. ' I 
know no place meet for fuch an one but hell. But it is like 
fome of you may blefs yourfelvei in your owrthearts, when 
ye hear fuch things, and fay, ye do not fvi ear fuch mon> 
ftrous and horrid oaths. Ay, but if ye fwear habitually 
the lcfler oaths, wt bid you, io the Lord's name and author- 


ky 9 lay afide all pretences to faith. — Some of you can 
(Wear by your faith upon every turn, and yet pretend 
to faith in Chrifr. They who have laith, will not dare 
to fwear by it. And fuch at do cuitomarily fwear by 
faith, or by conference, I dare aflert to be unbelievers. A 
believer inChritt will not make fo light of precious faith, 
as to bafBe it upon every occafion ; nor will l.e dare to 
make that an idol which is a grace; the chief glory 
whereof is,, to abafe the creature, and to exalt God. To 
fwear by faith, or by confcicnce, is to put them in God's 
dead ; and that is an indignity which God will by no mear.s 
bear with, for he has faid, he " will not give his glory to 
another. 4 ' This fin is become fo common and cuftomav 
ry, that there is but little hopes of perfuading people to 
leave it, unlefs God by a ftrong hand do it. But lince 
we have occafion to fpeak of fwear ing, 1 (hall only add 
a few words to fuch of you as are gailry. (i.) God has 
taken the puni foment of (wearers into his own h.nd. Men 
commonly let fuch eafily pafs; but God has faid, he " will 
not hold them guiltlefs " (2.) It is a fin that brings ruin[not 
only npon particular perfons,. but upon families. " The 
flying roll that is twenty cubits long, and ten cubits broad, 
and full of curfes, enters into the houfeof the fwearer, and 
deftroys it with the timber and fionet thereof, and every 
one that is gailty (hall be cut off," Zech. v. 3, 4. (3.) Jt 
is one of the iins that brings defolatiog calamities upon na- 
tions, and makes the land mourn, Hof. iv. 2, 3. (4.) So 
hateful is this fin to God, that he ihreatcns fuch as know 
any to be guilty of ir, and conceal the fin, Lev. v. 1. «* And 
if a foul fin, and hear the voice of fwearing, and is a wit. 
nefo, whether he hath feen or known of it ; if he doth 
not utter it, then (hall he bear his iniquity." It is not 
enough to forbear fwearing, but we mud profecute the 

(3.) Unclean perfom t of which there are too many in this 
congrega.ion, are all to be reckoned aroongft the unbe- 
lievers. The defiled and the unbelieving are well put to- 
gether by the apoftle, Tit. i. ic. The works of the 
firth are enumerated, Q J. v. 19, &c. ; and unclcannefs leads 
the van. Such of you as live in uncleannefs, are paft all 
doubt in the flefh, yet under the power of unbelief ; for 
they that do believe, or are in Chrift Jefu.<, « have cru- 


cified the fleih, with the affections and lufts thereof, Gat* 

v. 24. 

(3.) Drunkards, in vain do ye pretend to faith; ye are 
unbelievers, and (hall have your part eternally with them. 
If ye look the forecited lift, ye will find your name amongft 
the reft. Ye are not in Chrift Jefus ; for they who are 
in Chrift Jefus do not « walk after the fle(h»- hut after the 
fpirit," Rom, viiL 1. Now* to this dafs of unbelievers 
belong, (1.) Such as do fpend and habitually throw away 
their time in ale-houfes. Again ft thefe there is a woe 
denounced, Ifa. v. 11, i«. " Woe unto them that rife up, 
early in the morning that they may follow ft rong drink*, 
th t continue until night till wine inflame them. And 
the harp and the viol, the tabret and the pipe, and wine 
are in their feafts : but they regard not the work of the 
Lord, neither confider the operation of his hands." Some*- 
it may be, will not be put by themfelves with drink, 
yet they fpend their time ordinarily in the ale-huufe. 
Such perfons are to be reckoned amongft thefe unbeliev. 
ers, whofe god is their belly, whofe glory is in their 
iharar, who mind earthly things." (a.) Such as do abufc 
themfelves fo with drink, that they lofe the ufe of their 
reafon : A fin fo abominable, and more than beaftly, that 
it is a wonder how a man can be guilty of it ; it being fuch 
an evil that we cannot find the like of it among the 
beads. (a.) Such as go to that height, as to glory in 
their drinking, againft them God pronounces a woe, J fa*, 
v. 2i* " Woe onto them that are mighty to drink wine, 
and men of ftrength to mingle, ft rong drink." (4.) A fort 
of finners that feem to out-do all the reft, belong to this- 
clafs, and that is, fuch as have the heaven-daring boldnefi, 
to tempt others to get drunk, not fearing the curfe of Ged 
that is denounced againft fuch, Hab. ii. 15. " Wee unto 
him that giveth his neighbour drink, that putteft thy bot- 
tle to him, and make ft him drunken alfo, that thou mayeft 
look upon his naktdnefs." God threatens, in the following 
verfe of that chapter, that the cup of his right-hand, the 
cup of his fury, (hall be turned unto fuch. He will make 
them eternally to drink of the cup of his wrafth, yea, the 
very dregs thereof. Whoever they are in this congregation 
that belong to this fort of men, we charge you to lay afide 
all claim to faith* Unbelievers you are :. and if ye do flat- 


.fer yourfelves that ye do believe notwithstanding, ye but 
deceive yourfelves, and ruin your own fouls. 

(4.) All liars are fcored by at unbelievers. They are 
not the children of God, but of the devil. They have his 
name upon their forehead, and do ex?c"Uy referable him 
who was a liar from the beginning. They have no like- 
nefs to the God of truth. Therefore every one that iov- 
eth and maketh a lie (hail be excluded from heaven, Rev. 
xxii. 15. In fine, to this fort belong thcives, mardeierst 
evil-fpeakers, deceivers, Sabbath-breakers, &c. All thefe 
are openly profane, and fo, pad all perad venture, unbe- 
lievers. We need not endeavour to find them out by fe- 
cret fearcb, when thefe evidences are to be feen and civ 
ferved by cyery one. But, beGdcs the grofsly ignorant 
and openly profane, 

3. The habitual negleflers of ftcret duties, particularly of 
prayer, are to be fet afide from the number of believers. 
Prayer isj if 1 may fo fpeak, the very breath of the new 
creature ; as foon as it is created, it prays ; fo that where 
.there is an habitual neglect of fee ret prayer, there is co 
faith. Are there not here fomc of you* v* ho will, rife from 
your bed in the morning, and go to your work, and nev- 
er bow a knee to God ; and juft fo leave it at night again, 
and have never one check from your ccnfciences for all 
this ? If there be any aoiongft you who do neglect prayer, 
we charge ycuto lay afule all pretences to faith in Chriit. 

4* Ail that cxpeft to get hea*ven by their o*wn prayers and 
other duties* are to be fet afide as unbelievers. How many 
of this congregation a ie theie, who, when interrogated as 
to their hopes of heaven, have nothing eife to found iheir 
hopes upon, but their religious performances 2 O wretched 
ignorance ! your own duties are thus made your faviour. 
A certain and fure proof that ye do not believe. 

Thefe and not a few others, are unqueftionably unbeliev- 
ers. Now, fct afide the grofsly ignoranr, the profane, the 
ncgle&er* of fecret prayer, and fuch as reft upon their per- 
formances for heaven, we fear the greater! part of this a£- 
ferobJy mjgbt be fet aiide. Having now named fome forts 
of perfons, who, without all doubt are unbelievers, and 
therefore have no lot, no- portion in Jefus Chrift \ and 
who, if they continue in that flare, (hall have their por- 


tion afligned them in utter dark fiefs, with hypocrites and 

unbelievers ; we (hall proceed, 

Secondly, To take notice of fame falfe marls, whereby 
people judge of them fe Ives, and conclude they have faith, 
while ii deed they have it not. 

1. It will not be a fufficient proof that ye have faith, 
that ye think fo> and confidently fay fa. This is it that 
many of you build upon, your own confident aflertion of 
it, upon no other account, but only that ye think fo. When 
we afe you, Do ye believe ? you will readily reply, Yes 
indeed we believe ; and if we further pot you to if, as to 
the ground of your aflertion, we (hall find nothing but the 
fame thing told o« Over again with confidence; we believe, 
God forbid we (hould not believe. Nay, it may be forre 
will fay, « Though he flay us, we will truft in him." 
This we have had told us from perfons who were as far 
from faith as the Turks are. We intreat yoo, in the fear of 
the Lord, hazard not your fools upon a ftrong fancy that ye 
have faith ; for we a flu re you, in the Lore? s name, that 
this is a falfe mark : for, (i.) Where there are leaft faith, 
there is ufually mod confidence* Where faith is, it occa- 
sions a holy jealoufy, which o the is know nothing of : faith 
makes fuch difcoveries of the deceitfulnefs of the heart, as 
makes the fool fufpeft itfelf. (2.) Our Lord pofitively 
fays, « That not tvtty one that fays, Lord, Lord* fhafl 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." It is not every one 
that thinks and fays he believes, that will be owned as a 
believer. Ye think ye believe ; ye fay ye do fo : we!?* 
others have both thought and faid fo, who yet are in hell. 
Our Lord tell* us in Matth. vii. 21, 22. that many will 
meet with a fearful difappointment : he will not own them, 
nor their faith, but fend them and it together (e the pit, 
telling them that he knows them not. But, 

2. Some think they believe, becaufe they have no dombts y 
and never had any, about the truth of thegofpel, their par* 
don, and acceptation with God, through JefusChrifr. But 
take heed to yourfelves, that ye do not flatter yourfelves 
upon this ground} for it is a falfe one. Ye fay» ye never 
doubted, therefore ye believe. But, 

(1.) What if we fhoold fay that the contrary follows r 
Ye never had doubts, therefore ye do not believe. We 
might fay fo on better grounds ; for want of doubts may 



flow, [i.] From unconcerned ncfs about the truth of the 
gofpel. Pe'rfons hear of a thoufand things, and fcarce are 
at pains to be any wife fatisfied, whether they be true or 
falfe ; becaufe they are not concerned* If we heat there is 
a man in America that has a vaft eilate, and a huge reve- 
nue, we will never fcrupie the truth of it, efpecially if they 
who tell it are but of ordinary credit; but it we under flood, 
that we could never be maintained, unlefs we got a ihare 
or that eft ate, and that the owner is willing to impart to 
us what we need for our ufe, we would foon begin to be a 
little more fcrupulous upon the point, and would not believe 
the report fo eafily, but be apt to entertain a thoufand fuf. 
picious thoughts about every circuroftance of the matter. 
Juft fo it is with the mod part of men and women in the mat- 
ter before us; they do not know their need ot Chrift ; they 
do not know but they may be able to do their own bufiuefs 
well enough without him ; therefore they are not at pains 
to inquire narrowly, and to be fatisfied as to the truth of 
the golpel- report : they give it credit, from an eafy cre- 
dulity, becaufe they do not know their own concernment 
in it, but were they once fatisfied about their concernment 
io it, they would have more doubts about ir« This we fee 
plainly to he the cafe of thefe, when God awakens their 
conference* While they fleep on in their natural fecutity, 
and fee not their need of Chrift, they can eafily believe, as 
they think, the truth of what the gofpel report* concerning 
him : but as foon as they axe awakened, and begin to know 
how much depends upon it, then they find doubts do ar- 
rife. [?.] Want of doubts may flow irom a " profound 
ignorance of the myftery of the gofpeL" Ignorant persons 
have not their thoughts exercifed about Chrift, the excel, 
leccy of his per fori, the neceflity of his death, and of the 
virtue and efficacy of it, as meritorious of pardon, and fa- 
tiafa&ory to the juft ice of God ; and therefore fee no dif- 
ficulty in giving a fort of an aflent to, or rather in not 
• qaeftioning the truth of the gofpeL And then, [3.] As 
to perfons* confident reliance on Chrift* or believing with- 
out any fcrupie, that they (hall be fared by him* this flows 
from ignorance of God's holinefs* and their own finfulnefs. 
They think fin no great matter, and therefore think God 
may be foon reconciled to them. From thefe, and fuch 
other like canfesj may it proceed, that ye want doubts* and 



that ye are fo eafily fa 1 15 fie d about this matter; and from 
the confederation of thefe caofes, it is apparent, that want 
of doubts as to the troth of the gofpel report, and want 
of difficulty in the believing of your own advantage by it, 
is rather a fign that ye want faith, than that ye have it. 
Furrher, it is plain, that where perfons have juft imp reffi- 
tfns of their own Gnfulnefs, and of God's holinefs; of their 
own meannefs, of God's gteatnefs ; of the hateful nature 
of (in, and the dated averfion and irreconcileable hatred 
God bears to it ; it will occasion difficulty in believing tVe 
truth of any way wherein a (inner may be admitted to the 
enjoyment of God, and confeqoently fome difficulty in 
hazarding a reliance upon it : confide ring that there is na- 
turally much darknefs and weaknefs in the mind of man 
fince the fall. But, pafling this confederation, we fay, 

(2.) It is evident, that a great many, who have no doubts, 
^are yet tinqueftionably unbelievers, because they live in 
grofs ignorance, and in the habitual practice of known fins, 
in one word, ye who think ye have faith, becaufe ye have 
no doubts, are like to dtceive your own fouls ; for I make 
no doubt, there are not a few in hell roaring cut with 
intolerable pain, who never doubted but they tiAd faith, and 
fhoald be laved, till fad experience convinced them 
that they were damned.— -The fcripture, and the ex peri. 
ence of the people of God in all ages, makes it plain, and 
inconteftibly evident, that they who do truly believe, find 
difficulty in doing fo ; and they * ho never found any, 
have never yet feen that « fhe carnal mind is enmity againft 
God, and is not fubjeel to the law of God, neither indeed 
can be." 1 hey are the whole perfons that need not, and 
will never come to the phyfician. Where there is any 
thing of the carnal m<nd remaining, there will be flill 
found difficulty in believing ; unbelief will (till be faith's 
neighbour ; and where there is any thing of God's marvel- 
lous light in the foul, this unbelief, and averfion to believ- 
ing, will in more or lefs'be difcerned. 

3. Some conclude that they themfelves and others have 
faith, becaufe they are moral and civil, and biaHtelefs in 
their external eowverfatiou. Nothing more common than to 
call a civil moral man, a good man, and to conclude all is 
right with him. This is a mark whereby many judge, and 
judge amifs, cf their own eftate, and of the eftate of others : 



for it it one that will not abide the te ft of God's word ; if 
we weigh it in the balance of God's faneluary, u e muft 
write lekti upon it. We grant indeed, (1.) That it is ve- 
ry deferable to fee men moral and blamelefs in their conver- 
sion. It is a thing praife-wortby, becaufe of its ofeful- 
neft amongft men : it were to be wifhed that there were 
more of it in the world ; therefore we (hall fay nothing to 
difcoarage any from a blamelefs walk. (2.) We grant that 
immorality or profanenefs is a fure mark of the want of 
faith. Bat becaufe profane and immoral wretches do not 
believe, we muft not therefore conclude, that they who are 
40t thus immoral do believe. For, notwithftanding of 
what has been fa id, we fay, [1.] That a man may be 
blamelefs, fober, and civil, as to his external conversation, 
who it fo far from faith, that he may be hatching in his 
mind the mod abominable evils : pride may reign there, am- 
bition, worldly- mind eduefs, envy, difcontent, and the like. 
There are two forts of lulls fpoken of by the apoftle, Ephef. 
ii. 3. " Among whom alfo we all had our converfation in 
time paft, in the lufU of our flefh, fulfilling the de fires of 
the flefh and of the mind, and were by nature the chil- 
dren of wrath, even as others." Here the apoftle gives 
us to understand, that there are de fires or lufts of the mind, 
as well as of the flefh ; and that the fulfilling the defires of 
the mind, or of the flefh, proves a man a child of wrath, 
and fo void of faith. The civil moral roan, it may be, ful. 
fill not the one, but he may be fulfilling the other, and fo 
pcrifh eternally. [2.] So far is amoral civil walk from 
faith, . or from being a fign of faith, that it has been found 
in many heathens, who never heard tell of faith, but per* 
ilhed in heathen darkrvefs, quite ignorant of Chriit, and 
the way of falvation by him. [3.] So far is it from be- 
ing a fign of faith, that in many it has been found to be a 
fad hindrance to faith 4 inafmuch as they have abufed it, fo 
far as to lay weight upon it, as did the proud Pharifee, 
Luke xviii. n. The eyes of thoufands are fo dazzled 
with their own blameleflnefs, that they can fee no need of 
the righteoufnefs of Chrift : and this is deftruclive eter- 
nally to their fouls. Believe it, that a moral, civil, and 
blamelefs man in (bis .external walk, may be an unbeliever, 
and may be damned. A profane man walks openly and 
avowedly, as it were, on the road to the pit; and, like 

X Solomon's 


Solomon's fimple man, fays to everyone, that heist fools 
but a civil man, may be going the fame road ; and if a 
man have no more, he is furely in the road to eternal dam* 
nation, as well as the other; he goes only* if I may fo 
fpcak, in a cleaner path to the pit, but will as certainly 
come thither : O that we could get that fond conceit ban- 
ifhed the world, that there is no more required to make a 
man a Chrirtian but morality. Flatter not yourfelves ; this 
is not faith : I allure you, you will be made to fee fo one 
day to your colt, 

4 Others have fime awakenings, by fome common touches 
and motions or' the Spirit of God, and therefore conclude 
that they believe, and have faith ; efpecially if there enfue 
any thing like peace after them* The occafion of this 
hi i flake is, that when the Lord works the work of faith 
with power in the foul, he begins his work by convincing 
men of fin. But it is a very perverfe and dangerous confe- 
rence to conclude from thence, that faith is where there 
are convictions. For, (i.) The' worft of rren may have, 
and have had convictions. Judas, Pilate, Simcn Magus, 
and a great many others, had bofoms full of convictions ; 
and ycr, pad all perad venture, were unbelievers, and that 
of the worit fort. (2.) Ill men may grow worfe by convicti- 
ons. Many are fo far from being bettered by them, from being 
brought to Chrift by them, that they are put further from 
him, and that feveral ways : i. Some, by their convictions 
are driven from grofs fins to more fecret fins, from profane- 
nefs to morality, and hold there; and their laft cafe is, in 
feveral refpe&s, worfe than their fir ft ; as is plain from what 
has been difcourfed above. 2. Some, by means of con vie. 
tion, have the fins of their whole life aggravated more griev- 
oufly than other wife they would have been. Sins againft 
light are the greateft of fins; and fome continue all their 
lite long under a continual viciffitude of fin and conviction : 
they hold on in fin, though they have from time to time 
dreadful throws of conviction. Some perfons we have 
known this way exercifed all their life, yea, perfons of 
great knowledge, who have been fo far from being beat 
from their fin by convictions* that they have only ferved to 
aggravate and enhance their guilt. *.<&>me others are fo 
tar ro:n being led to Chritt by their coavict ions, that they 
#7 ike a Chriit ot their convictions, and conclude all is well 
fc • with 


with them, becaufe they arc convinced, and fo feck no 
further* They ihink God loves them, becaufe his iylnz 
deals with them ; little minding, that God's Spirit ftrove 
many a year with the old world, and then deftroyed them 
at laft. f } . Others there are, who, by defpifing and quench* 
ing convictions, pave the way for themfelves to open pro- 
fanenefs, and a boundlefs liberty in finning; for by harden- 
ing themfelves under convictions, they provoke God to give 
them up to the ways of rheir own hearts, becaufe when 
u they know God, they do not woifhip him as Gcd, there- 
fore he gives them up to vile aiTe&ions," Rom. i. 21. arc. 
This was the unhappy cafe of many in the heathen world ; 
and 1 may fay is the cafe of many in the Chriilian world. 
Like wife, 5. Convictions many times terminate in dread. 
ful defpaix ; and fo hurry iren headlong to hell, inilead of 
bringing them into the way to heaven, driving them 10 
the deviJ, when they fhould come to Chrift, Thus it fared 
with Judas and fome others* 

In fine, we intreat you do not flatter yourfelves ; convic- 
tions aw no good fign of faith. I know fome axe fo ignor- 
ant of God, that they are apt to mock and deride fuch as 
the Lord brings to a conviction of fin, as mad, or at lesft 
melancholy. To fueh I fay, if ye never knew conviction 
for fin, ye never knew converfion ;. and unlefs ye be con* 
vinced of fin, and awakened, ye will never believe, and in 
Ihall never be faved ; and to laugh at conviction is a fuse 
fign of one that never had faith* But on the other hjr.i!> 
let none reft upon convictions, either as converficn, cr s.s ,\ 
fign of faith ; for there ate abundance of convictions in hell, 
where there is not one grain weight ot faith, nor to cterrur. 
(hall be. Every bofom there is full of conviclicr.s, srA yc: 
aU are unbelievers; and as many of them ?s lived under 
the gofpel, are damned for unbelief* 

(5.) Some have knowledge of the things of God, and there- 
fore conclude that they do believe : they underftand the 
letter of the gofpel, and have been inftrucled by re id ing r 
cooverfe, and the painfulnefs of matters and minifters ; 
therefore they blefs themfelves in their own hearts, when 
the judgments of God are denounced again ft unbelievers; 
and when they are bid believe, they put the exhortation by 
them, thinking that they believe already, and that all is 
well with them. This is a dangerous midake, and ruins 



many poor fouli. We do indeed grant, that there is no 
faith without knowledge, and therefore have already laid 
afide the ignorant as unbelievers ; but we are far from al- 
lowing that knowledge is a fure iign of faith. For, ( i.) A 
great deal more of the knowledge of the gofpel than 
even many true believers, have, may be attained with- 
ont any fpecial aid or afliftance of the Spirit of God ; but 
faith i%oot to be obtained without the fpecial operation of 
the Spirit. Hence it is called, " the faith of the operation 
of God, and the work of fai'h, that is wrought by the ex- 
ceeding greatnefs of God's power,*' Col. i?. 12. 2 Theff. i. u* 
Eph. i. 19. (a.) One may have much knowledge, and yet live 
in open profanenefe, and the continued practice of known 
iins ; which is utterly inconlirtent with the l&aft fpark of 
fa viiig grace. (3.) An unbeliever may have fuch a meafure 
of (he knowledge of Cbrift, and of the v ay of (alvatioa 
by him, as to he able to inftrull others in the knowledge of 
bim : Judas had this, and yet wanted faith. Nay, (4*) 
One may not only be capable of teaching other?, but may 
even excel others, and be eminent for fuch gifts as are of 
ufe for the edification of the church, and yet be void of 
faving faith; no doubt Judas was beyond many others." 
being a difciple of ihe higheft form, he had gifts in a fuita- 
ble meafure, but no grace. But what need 1 fay more open 
this head ? the devii, no doubt, has more knowledge of> 
and infight into the myfteiy of the gofpel, as to the letter,, 
than perhaps any man on earth ; and yet has a heart fall of 
malice, fpite, and irreconciieable enmity to it. Men, after 
the fame manner, may have their heads fall of notions of truth, 
and be perfectly void of faving grace: like the toad, which has 
a precious done in ics head, and yet has its body full of poifoo » 
6. Every fore of concern about falvatian is not afufficient 
evidence of faith. Some have fome concern, and are fotne 
way thoughtful about fa 1 vat ion, and about freedom from 
wrath, and yet are ft rangers to, and never come the length 
of the precious faith of God's elect. O what a length 
went the young man in the gofpel, in his concern about 
falvation! we may fee the hiftory, Matth. xix. 6. Sec. and 
Markx. 17. Now, 1 (hall take notice of feveral evidences 
of fome concern about falvation in his conduct, to let you 
fee that all concern about falvation will not prove you seal be- 
lievers. (1.) He was fenfible that ic was not any enjoy- 


roent of a prefent life that could make him happy. Though 
he was a young man, at Mark tells us, a young man that 
had the advantage of a fair eft ate, and a ruler, as Luke tells 
us; yet he had fomething more in view than a prefent tem- 
poral lire : it was eternal life he would have. (2.) Such 
was his fenfe of the worth of eternal life, and of his need 
of it, notwithfianding his youth, health, honour, and 
wealth, that he had ft rong de fires after eternal life. This 
the whole feries of the hiftory makes evident. (3.) His 
defires were not mere flugg : fti wifhes: they put him upon 
a concern about the means whereby this life was to be ob- 
tained. This was the queftion he came to our Lord about i 
« Good Mafter," fayi he, " what good thing (hall I do- 
that I may inherit eternal life?" (4.) As far as he knew 
be had pra&ifed. The poor man knew no more but 1 he- 
commands, and that they ought to be kept ; and thofo 
he had kept, and that univerfally, without any exception 
of any them, and that with diligence and continuance, 
"All thefe have I kept> and that from my youth." There 
» univerfality, diligence, and continuance. (5.) He had 
a fenfe of his own ignorance : he was jealous of the fhort- 
nefs of his knowledge, and that be yet Jacked fomething, 
(6.) This fenfe did lead him to feek alter, and defire in- 
ftru&ion; became to the right hand, Chrift. (7.) When 
he came, every thing in his carriage difcovered his great 
concern : Firfi f He comes running, he was afraid of being 
in a roiftake, he was deftrous to be informed ; and thefe 
iwo together made him run. Secondly^ He took all fcafible 
methods to obrain his defire at Chrift's hand ; he gave him 
an epithet importing much refpett to him, as able and 
willing. If Good Mafter," fays he. (Mafter) points at 
Iris ability, and (good) at his willingnefs: and moreover, 
Mark tells us,, that he kneeled to him. (8.) Such was his 
concern for falvation, that he refolved to ferople nothing 
that was enjoined him. He knew of no referve in his own 
heart. The words fay plainly, to any one that confides* 
the import of them, that the man had a resolution to do 
any thing that was enjoined hiui. He knew not that there 
was any thing he would not do. " What fhall 1 do ?" fays 
he. He was refolved to decline nothing that he could be 
defiredtodo, in order to obtain eternal life. Now, thus 
far did he go in concern for fa] v alien, and yet he fell 


Jhort of it ; at far as his concern brought him, it led him 
not to faith ; he fell fhort of that. Nov, ye who think 
that ye be Here, bzcaufe ye have fomc concern about yoar 
fouls and eternal lite, do ye come this man's length? I fear 
few of you can fay, ye do- ; and yet ye muft and will ad- 
vance farther, if ye have faith, and be faved ; for this 
man and Chrift parted, and we never hear of their meeting 

7. Some joy in hearing the *tnord y fome off e8 ion to and 
delight in the gf pel report concerning Chrift % are not fuffici- 
ent marks of faith. Many people, efpecially of the young- 
er fort, are ready to miftake this for faith, or a fure fignof 
faith ; therefore* to undeceive them, we (hall (hew* 
1. Whence it is that people take it for faith, or an evidence 
of it at leait, 2. Whence this may a rife that may ocean" oa 
thefe flafhes of teodcrnefs, where there is no faith. 3. That 
it is indeed no fign of faith* 

As to theftr/r, It is no great wonder it fhoold be mifiaken 
f^r faith , or an evidence of ir, if we confide r, (1.) The 
ilare of the perfon in whom faith is wrought, and the ffate 
of the foul in which fuch flames of affection and tendernefa 
are ordinarily wrought. When the Lord works faith, he 
works conviction to clear the way; fo» ufually thefe flafhea 
follow fome convictions and awakenings. (2.) As fahh is 
wrought, and comes by hearing of the wordy and by the 
Spirit of God's concurring with its power; fo thefe flafhes- 
are occafioned by the word, and by the operation of the 
Spirir, though but a common operation, giving fome fuper- 
ficial taftc and relifh of the fweetnefs of heavenly things. 
(3.) As faith, when wrought in the foul, glues it, as it 
were, to the ordinances ; fo the ufual effect of thefe raftet 
is, ;i great and ftrofig del] re after the ordinances, which, 
makes them multiply duties, and delight in approaching to 
God. (4.) As faith makes the foul feek beyond the bare 
performance of duties, for communion with Chrift in the 
ordinances; fo perfon* who have fuch flames, may find aa 
unfatisfiednefs with the ordinances, when they find not that 
fame relifh as formerly. Any one that confiders duly thefe 
things, will think it no wonder to find that there are off- 
takes in this matter. 

zdlj, We (hall a little enquire into the rife of thfe flajbes 
»jd[ concern* delight, and tendernefs, which look fo like ta 


that joy which believers find upon their believing. And it 
we obferve, we ihall find Tome one or other of the fol- 
lowing particulars, 01 at lead a concurrence of Tome or 
them, to have an influence upon thofe perfons, to the pro- 
dudion of thefe effects, (u) Novelty. r l he things of the 
gofpel are new many times to people : and new things, es- 
pecially when of fuch a nature that ihey threaten us no 
hurt, but, on the contrary, eminently promote our advan- 
tage, will very readily work upon our affections, and give 
fome delight, which longer cultom and acquaintance doth 
abate, (a.) There may be fomething in a perfon's circum- 
ftancea, which falling in with the propofal of the fweet offers 
of the gofpel, may readily occafton thofe flames of tender- 
nefs we are now difcourfing of: as for inttance, a perfon 
under diftrefs of mind will defire freedom from it ; and if, 
upon fuch an occafion, the mind be entertained with the 
joys of heaven, the love, mercy, and grace of God in Chriit 
to tinners ; if the mind hereby rind a diverfion from its 
trouble, this may occafion great delight. The like inflanuc 
we may have, when perfons fall out with the world upon 
fome fignal difappointment. (l.) This may be confiderably 
augmented by the ftrength of the paffions in youth. (4.) A 
variety of gifts in preachers may occafion this. (5.) Some, 
thing taking and peculiar in fome men's way of preaching 
occasions this. Some have fluency of language, plenty of 
natter, warmnefs of affection ; when thefe meet together, 
fuch affections will moved. (6.) A furprife may 
have a great influence this way. Thefe we may potiibly af- 
terwards have occafion to difcourfe moie fully of : now we 
but name there* and proceed, 

$dly y To (hew that thefe are nofure Jtgns cf faith. And, 
for clearing this, we (ay, (1.) We have let ycu fee how Aich 
affections may be excited, without any fpecial cp- ration of 
the Spirit of God; which faith can never be, (2.) The 
feripture* give us an account of fuch per fens who had the 
flafhes- we fpeak of- Our Lord, fpsaking to the Jews of 
John Baptift, fays, " He was a burning and lhining light, 
and ye were willing to ujoice in lis light for a feafon." 
John v. 35. And thefe hearers of the word, that are ic- 
fembled to the ftony ground, received the word wi h joy, 
and yet proved naught in a day of trial. (3.) Cur cwn'ob- 
fc 1 vat ion may furnifh us with inftances xr.orc than encrg!i, 



ofperfbns who have had great fiafhei of joy, which have 
terminated in nothing, or worfe than nothing. But leav- 
ing this, we fay , 

8. The multiplication cf religious duties is no fufficient mark 
or faith. Some do apprehend, if they be pun&iud in their 
attendance upon the duties of religion, that this is proof 
enough that they do believe. But how far this is from . 
truth) is eafy enough to be difcerned, by any that duly 
confiders what great proficiency foroe have made this way 
who yet have remained utterly unacquainted with God, 
and Grangers to the faith of God's elect. If ye have no 
other proof of your faith than this, that ye are punctual in 
your attendance upon the duties of religion, what do* or 
have ye, more than they with whom the prophet lfaiah had 
to do ? A people they were who did abound in all there 
performances, and yet were naught* Look at them in that 
reprefentation the prophet gives of them, Ifa. lviii. i. 
We (hall find that they had more to fay upon this fcore than 
1 believe, molt can pretend unto. « They feek me daily," 
fays God, u and to know my ways, as a nation that did 
righieoufnefs, and forfook not the ordinance of their God : 
they afk of me the ordinance of juftice ; they take delight 
in approaching to God.*' One would think, here are fu re- 
ly a fet of excellent perfons, believers no doubt : but, not- 
withftaading all this, God rejects all their duties, and therru 
s felves alfo, with the greateft deteftation and abhorrence, as 
we find the prophet telling them, both in this and the firft 
chapter of his prophecies. We may here obferve, that they 
went a great way in the performance of duty : for, (t.) 
We find that they feek God. They do not live, as many 
others did, in a carelefs nrgleft of him, whereby there is 
an inconteftible evidence given of an utter and entire want 
of faith. (2.) They feek him in the ordinances of his- 
own appointment ; as the prophet hints here, and gives a 
more full account in the fit ft chapter of his prophecy. They 
did not invent to themfelves new and uncouth ways of ferv- 
ingand feeking God, fuch as their own extravagant fancies 
might fuggeft to them ; but they adhered to the ordinances 
of their God, his appointments. (3.) Thtir attendance . 
was not a piece of force and violence put upon frtem : they 
took delight in duty, and in approaching to God. (4.) 
They weie frequent and doie 10 their applications to duty ; 



tfiey fought God daily, (c.) They arc defirous of further 
information as to their duty ; they did a(k of God the ordi- 
nance of juftice. (6.) They did not only go on in the per- 
formance of the ordinary duties of religion, but they did, 
like wife, multiply the extraordinary ; fuch as the failing 
fpoken of in the enfuing verfes. Thus far did they go ; but 
notwithftanding all thi9, they were void of faith. Thus 
far may ye go, and yet be utter ft rangers to the faith of 
God's eleft. Indeed, fueh as are habitual negle&crs of 
duties, cannot reafonably pretend to any intercft or concern 
in this fai:h of God's cleft : yet neither can fuch as multi- 
ply them fay, on this account, that they have faith ; 
iince it is plain, in ike inftance juft now mtntior.ed, that 
this may be to a high degree, while faith is wanting. And 
no doubt Paul, before his convtrfion, was (hort of none in 
performances of this fort. Nay, further we add, 

9* Ever* change upon tbt man even to the betttr y is no 
fare proof of faith* For great alterations, as to peoples* 
fcDtimentt, or to their inclination and convention, may be 
wrought, where there is no gracious change upon the heart,, 
but it continues as before. Some, when they find them- 
felves altered to the better, from what once they were, da 
presently begin to think, that now they have faith, and that 
all (hail be well with them. But there is a vaft miftake here* 
a moft dangerous, raining, and fool-deft roying error. In- 
deed, we moft own, that where there is no change, there 
can be no faith ; for faith is the gift of God, the work of 
the Spirit of Ch rift, and is not bom with men, but wrought 
in them ; and when it comes, it comes not alone j it is one 
of the moft effential parts of the new man, or new creature. 
That here we may undeceive any of you who lay weight up- 
on that which may fail you, iftrufted to, we (hall infill a little 
in (hewing you what changes there may be on a man, who 
yet continues a ft ranger to the precious faith of God's e!elt« 
How thefe changes are to be diftinguifhed from the other, 
which perfons really regenerate do undergo, we may after- 
wards iave occafion to difcourfe, when we come to give 
the marks of faith that will abide the trial* We fay, then* 
that forne change wrought upon you to the better, it not 
proof enough that ye have faith ; fince there may be m 
great change wrought upon perfons who never did believe, 
and that upon the whole man. For, 

(i.) There 


(i.) There may be a great change wrought upon the* 
mind ox under/landing of a mao. Man is naturally blind* 
and knows not his way. Sin has put out the eye of the 
foul ; and hence men are faid to be in darknefs, or to be 
darknefs it fell" in the abftraft, before the Lord begin to deal 
with them ; and when the Lord begins to work upon them, 
then he enlightens their minds, tranflaiing them from dark- 
nefs to his light. But one who never was favingly illumi* 
nated, nor, it may be, ever (hall, may yet undergo a great 
change in his undemanding. 1 tell you a threefold change 
upon the mind that one may undergo who never was faving- 
ly enlightened. [>.] Such an one may, by mere diligence 
and application^ without any fupernatural affi(tance r attain 
a great deal of knowledge of the truths of God, and of the 
things of religion, that he had not before. There are few, if 
any of you, fo very dull, but could attain to a great mea- 
fare of knowledge, would ye apply yourfelves to reading, 
iludy, and medication ; ye might get your minds fraught 
with much head- know ledge of religion ; and fomeby this 
means do attain a great meafure of knowledge, which 
makes a great change upon their minds, the miBd that former* 
ly was lull of the blacknefs of darknefs and grofs ignorance* 
is now furnifhed with a flock of knowledge. But all this 
may be without any faith, or without any fupernatural 
work of God upon the foul ; yea, it may be in one utter* 
ly void of any regard to God. [2.] There may further 
be a change to fomething yet higher ; the mind may 
have a beam or ray of fupernatural light darted into ir, 
whereby it may not only underftand thele truths, as it doth 
other truths, but may farther come to fee fome peculiar 
beauty and uftfulnefs in them. That one that is void of the 
Saving faith of God's eleft may reach this illumination, the 
apoftle afierts plainly, while he makes it one of the attain- 
ments of them who may fall irrecoverably away, Heb. r'u 
4. Nay, [3.]. This light may be increafed to fitch a de- 
gree, as to put them in a capacity to unfold the truths of 
the gofpel to others. Thus there may be a great change 
wrought upon the mind or underftanding, a change from 
grofs ignorance to fome acquired knowledge; from this 
acquired knowledge to fome degree of fpiritual illumina- 
tion, and from that to a high degree of fpiritual light, fuch 
as Judas and Balaam had,, whereby they were capacitated 



to know and understand the things of God, in a degree fo 
eminent, as to be able to inftruft others. AH this change 
may one that is an unbeliever undergo, and yet continue fo 
ftilli and perifli eternally in unbelief. 

(a.) There may be a great change upon the rotr/cuvce, 
and yet the foul may be void of faith. There may be a 
change from deep fecurity to awakenings and conviclions, 
and from inch troubles again to a fort of peace, calmnrfs, 
and ferenity of conference • Thus many times it is with 
temporary believers* If the thunderings of the law make 
tinners begin to (hake and belli r themfelvcs, then the joys 
of heaven, prefented to the foul's view in the light of a 
beam of fwper natural common illuminations, will immedi- 
ately calm, compofcj and fettle all again. 

(3.) There may be a great change wrought on the affec- 
tions> where there is no faith. One may have flafhes of joy 
and grief about fpiritual objecls. Nay more, there may be 
fome thing like an abiding change wrought on the affe&ions ; 
the delight in fpiritual duties, the forrow for fin, fear of 
wrath, that is attained, may be kept up in the foul for a long 
time. But of this we have fpoken fufficiently already ; 
wherefore we proceed to, 

(4.) A change that may be, where there is no faith, and 
that is upon the nuilL See what a will the Ifraelites had, 
Deut. v. 27. The will may be wrought fo far upon, as to 
arrive at many faint inclinations, wifhings, and wouldings 
after grace. The man that is awakened in forae meafure, 
hears fo much of the excellency of grace* and of the beauty 
of holinefs, which he is convinced in his judgment is true, 
that it may induce and draw the will to fome withes, and 
even to fome refolutions of fee king after it. In fine, there 
may be, 

(5.) Great changes upon the converfation where there is 
no faith. The openly profane man may be changed into a 
civil, moral, and blamelefs man ; the civil man, by fome 
common work of God's Spirit, may be turned into a pro* 
feflbr, who may multiply religious duties, and pretend as 
high as any. Where perfons live under a faithful mtnidry, 
and under the influence of lively ordinances, they may find 
it almoft impoflible. throttgh the power of conviftion* to 
-continue in open profanenefs, or, it may he, to reft upen 
mere civility. Thefe mieds may be fo filled with light, 


that confcience will not fuffer them to reft ftiort at leaft of* 
form of godlinefs ; and therefore many upon fuch occafiooa 
go this lengthy and ft»p no further. As forae do efcap* 
the pollutions of the world through loft, who are yet again 
entangled therein, and overcome, 2 Pet. ii. 2. ; fo fame, 
who have been en tangled for a confide r able time, are after* 
ward pulled, as it were, out of the fnare again* and reach 
a blame led walk before the world : and, it may be, rnak* 
a fair proleffion of religion, and yet are unacquainted with 
faith* Paul, before his conversion, was blamelefs concern* 
ing the righteoufnefs that is of the law : and why may Dot 
one, who has for a while been profane, reform, and go a* 
great a length that way as Paul did? There is no doubt ha) 

10. In the laft place, we* fay, that ye may have fome 
fort of faith, and yet want the laving faith of God's ele$» 
Every one that believes has not the faith which we have been 
difcourftng of. There are three forts of faith which ye 
may have, and yet be eternally ruined, getting your por* 
tion with hypocrites and unbelievers* 

(1.) There is a fort of faith that we may call a credit* 
faith. It is of an age, if I may fo fpeak, with the, perfon 
who has it. Some of you, though ye fay ye believe, ye 
cannot tell how ye came to believe ; only as long as ye 
can mind any thing, ye remember ye Hill did fo ; from the 
time ye could dittinguifh betwixt good and evil, ye did 
always believe; ye btought it from the cradle with you* 
This is the common faith that molt part have, and they go 
no further. And if we could but once get men and wo- 
men perfuaded that this faith will not fave them, we would* 
we think, have gained much upon them. Beiieve it, ray 
friends, this faith never faved one, and to eternity will nev- 
er fave anv ; ■ but many one it has ruined* I have a four- 
fold exception to lay againft this faith. [ 1 .] It is a plant not 
not of God's planting. The faith of God's ele& is a plant . 
that is planted by the hand of God; hence it is called, 
« the faith of the operation of God," and " the gift of 
God :" but this faith, that isfo full among you, is a weed 
that grows upoi its own accord, without any fort of pains. 
They who have ir, are not debtors to God for it, fince it 
fprong up with them, and God had no hand in its produc- 
tion. [2.J It. is a bad foil that it. grows, in* a .corrupt 



inrtnewed nature. Ye who fay, ye do believe, dare )c 
fay, as in the fight of God, that ever your hearts were 
changed, and renewed ? I am fine many of you dare net fay 
it; or, if ye do, conference will tell you to your face, that 
you He ; yet, notwithstanding this, you will maintain that 
je believe, and fo think yourfelves Aire of falvation. I 
beteech you, by all the love ye bear to your own fouls, do 
act hazard them upon this faith ; for, as fure as God lives, 
it will deceive you. There never grew a tree in nature's 
garden, in a foil fo bad as that of an unrenewed nature, that 
ever was capable of bearing fo choice a fruit as falva- 
tion is. All that grows there is fin, and the fruit of that is 
death* ' " The wages of fin is death," Rom. iii. 23. ; and 
if ye expect any other, ye will meet with a difappointment 
that will not be eafy to be borne. [3.] This faith of yours 
if not kept alive by influences from heaven, as is the faith 
of God's e left. As the precious faith of God's eleel is at 
firft planted in the foul by the blefled hand of him who is 
the Author of faith to all them that believe ; fo it receives 
all its increafes from him. He nourifhes it by influences 
from above ; it derives all its growth from him. The gen- 
tle breezes of the Spirit, the north and the fouth winds, 
breathing in the ordinances, quicken all the graces of the 
Spirit, and caufethem to fend forth a favoury and fragrant 
fmell. Faith holds its life, its all of Chrift. But this faith 
of yours quite overlooks the Mediator ; it fees no need of 
him ; it leads not to him. That which it lays hold upon, 
is fome wrong notion of God, as if he were altogether fuch 
an one as yourfelves, a God that has as light thoughts of fin 
as ye have, and can with as much eafe pa fa it by without 
any refentment, as ye can commit it. God doth indeed 
take plea fure in them that hope in his mercy ; but it is in 
his mercy as discovered in the gofpel-mcthod of falvation ; 
and any faith that hath no refpeft to this, will be rejected 
of God. The faith of God's eled fetches every thing 
from Chrift, as the way and the treafure ; and it comes all 
to htm as the end This faith of yours, when ye have 
seed of pardon, carries you ftraightway to God's mercy, 
without ever owning Chrift ; but the faith of God's eleel 
leads the believer to Chrift, as to him whom mercy has ex- 
alted, to be the Prince and the Saviour, to give repent- 
aace and remiffion of fins. Thus faith} faring faith, comes 
Y to 


to Chrift for all, while that common faith that ye reft upon 
quire negle&s him. [4.] As is the tree, fo is the fruit* 
This faith of yoars, as it is not of God's planting, but a 
weed fprung out of corrupt nature's foil, and is kept alive, 
by ignorance of God's holinefs and juftice, and the exceed* 
ing (infulnefs of fin ; fo its fruit is anfwerable to the root* 
We fee not the fruits of holinefs grow upon it; bur, on the 
contrary, formalitv, a neglect of God, indifferency about 
falvarion, and all the concerns of religion. And whether 
\e will believe it or nor, when thefe fruits continue a whilei 
they will riper! into damnation. This faith will not fave 
you, and therefore truft not to ir. 

(2.) Ye may have a faith, which I may call a rathncl 
fnitby for diftin&ion's fake- This is a ftep. beyond the 
former. That common faith is merely the fro it of cuftora 
and education; but this goes a degree farther. Some men 
of refined fpirits are not accuftomed to take truth upon truft 
from others, but to fearch into it themfelves, that they may 
give their affent to it upon folid and rational grounds. And 
fuch perfons are apt to think it irrational to a high degree* 
to ufc lefs caution in inquiring into the grounds whereon 
they do believe that religion they are to hazard their fouls 
upon; and certainly thus far are they in the right. Well, 
then, that they may be fa'.isfied in this matter, they inquire 
what reafon they have to believe that thefe perfons did in- 
deed write the fcripture, who are given out to be the penmen 
of it : and whether, if they be found to be the penmen of 
it, they be perfons worthy to be credited* Upon fe arc b* 
they find both to be confirmed, by the greateft historical 
evidence poffible : and thus they are brought to give a gene- 
ral affent* and take up a firm pcrfuafion of the truth of the 
fcripture in general, and particularly of the truth* concern* 
ing Jefus Chrift; and here they reft, and take this for. faving 
faith. And this fort of faith is common enough among tb* 
more learned fort, as the other is among the more ignorant. 
Many a learned man has gone to hell with this faiths which 
is fufficient indeed to put an accent upon their raifery, and 
to vindicate the ju ft ice of God in their eternal deftruciion ; 
but is no way ufeful to them for falvation. The nature, 
ufes, and defects of this faith, 1 fhall not infift on 5 becaufe 
few of you are much concerned in it, it being hot or- 

maV's Recovery by faith isj christ. 2 ; 5 

e*marily fo b6 found among any, fave thofe who have more 
feifore and occafion for reading than moil of you have. 
« f^'jf Ye may yet go a ftep further, and reach that faith* 
which by practical divines is cillcd a temporary faith : fuch 
«was that which the hearers compared to the ftony ground 
had, of whom our Lord fpeaks in the parable of theVowrr, 
Matth. xiii. 20, And this Heps further than that faith which 
*e!aft mentioned, in two things. Firfi, In its rife. The 
former fort of faith is the fruit, merely of the cxercife of the 
rational faculties ; but this is produced by an operation of 
the Spirit of God. The power of the Spirit going along 
with the difpenfation of the word, doth by a common opera- 
Son produce this efTefr in the foul. Secoxdlj> The former 
faith has a refpeft principally, if not only, to the truth of 
megofpel; whereas this has lilcewife a refpeel to the beau* 
ty, fwcetnefs, and goodnefs of the things themfelves ; ?nd 
hence w» are told, that they received, the word with jor. 
They *faw a beauty, fweetnefs, and ufefnlnefs in the things 
ii (covered^ as well aft truth in the difcovery; and both, 
by a beam of fa pe manual light, let in upon the foul by a 
Common operation of the Spirit of God. But although 
this fai?h ; goes thus far; yet in two things it falls fhort of 
the faith of God's elect. F/r/t, it has no abiding root ; h 
fs only a tranfient work upon the* foul, without the com- 
munication of any inward and abiding principle ; the lea rt 
Is not changed; only there is a tranfient effect wrought u^on 
the rational powers of the foul. Secondly, It nsvrr carries 
the fool the length of a full clofure with the gofpel meihcd 
of falvation, whatever apprehenfion of the excellency ;l.e/e- 
of may be in it ; yetthsre is never fuch a view get of all the 
parts of that contrivance, as is fufficicnt to determine the 
hear: to an approbation of it. 

Several other forts of faith might Hkeuife be named, 
which perfonsmay have, and yet fall (hort of that which is 
faving ; hut I (hall pafsf them, becaufc there is not fo great 
danger that they be miilaken, and put in the room of the 
iaith we now inquire after. 

Thus far have we gone in a difcovery of the fandy foun- 
dations whereon many of you do build your hopes of hea- 
ven, and we fear that yet many of you will hold on in the 
bldcourfe, holding faft deceit, and building upon the fand. 
If ye do fo, then we allure you, in the name of God, the 



foundation will fail you ; and the higher your expectation 
are raifed, the more confounding will your dif appointment 
b\ Since the hazardous been laid before you, God is free, 
we are free of your blood ; and therefore your d'ftruttion 
is entirely of yourfelves; and this will be no mean aggrava- 
tion of your mifery. 

We (hall now proceed to lay before you, 

Thirdly* The true marks of the faith of God'a elecl t 
whereby ye may know and be Aire that ye do believe* 
anil that, believing, ye fhall be faved ; which was the 
lati thing we propofed in our entry upon this ufe of the 

But before we come to the marks thernfelve?, we ihall lay. 
before you a few things. And, 

i. We take it for granted, that there are marks whereby 
faith may be known. A very confiderable part of the fciip- 
ture is faid to be written on this very defign, to aflift per- 
fons in making a judgment- of thei* own ftat,e, whether 
they do believe or not, i John v. 13. " The fe things have 
1 written unto you, that believe on the name of the 
Son of God, that ye may (know) that ye have eternal 
life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of 

2. That we may make fo clear a judgment of our cafe 
by thefe marks, as to reach joy in faith's appreheofion of 
our own intereit in Chrift and fal nation, there is requifite a 
fpecial influence of the Spirit of God. God keeps comfort 
in his own hand, and he is mod foverclgn and abfolute in. 
the difpeniing of it. Yet, 

3. We fay, there are fuch marks as may, through an or- 
dinary influence of the Spirit, keep the foul up in fuch a 
comfortable perfuafion of its believing, of the reality of its 
faith, as will at lead keep from' difquieting and finking dif- 
couragements, and engage it to a cheerful attendance to all 
commanded duties, as not being defpondent of ableflcd iflue 
of what concerns it. 

4. There are fome marks which have a refpett to the 
reality, and others which do re fpeel the degree of faith. 
We defign only to infift upon fuch as hav$ a refpedt to the 
reality of. it; and fhall not fpepd time in. offering marks 
whereby we may know where faith is in its higheft degree : 
for when it comes to that, it will evidence itfelf to the 
foe) by thefc blefTed concomitants of it, « peace of con- 



fcienLce,%nd joy in the Holy Ghoft." Oar bufineft now 
"leading the other way, we (hall enquire intothofe evidences 
of faith which are to be found for ordinary in all them that 
'do really believe, that is, when not under the immediate 
Influence of fome temptation. There are, moreover, forae 
marks that are Readable upon all occafions, in a derm, as 
well as in fair weather; they are of ufe to the foul in all 
its greateft ft raits and terplexities; there are others which 
'are not difcernible in ftorms. We (hall only infift upon the 
'former, and (hall not fpend your time in handling many, 
becaufe one folid mark may be of more real and folid ufe 
.than many. 

The way being thus far cleared, I (hail now proceed to 

lay before you feme of thefe evidences of faith, thefe irarki 

whereby ye may fafely conclude that ye do believe. And, 

ifty We fay one may know and be fure thai he doth 

[believe, and that even in the midft of all temptations that 

'may befal him, bj his heart's chooftng* embracing and ap* 

'proving God's *waj of facing Jinners bj the mediation of Jefu* 

Chrifty and relying thereon^ iviih a renunciation of all other 

pretended ivors* This mark indeed is not diftinct from 

'faith; for it is one of the principal aclings of faying faith* 

'.yet it is fuch an one as is difcernible by all that will reflect 

upon themfelves, and that even under great florms and vio. 

lent temptations. Now, that yc may underhand this mark 

diftin&ly, we (hall, i. Give fome Ihort account of the gof* 

ftl contrivance for the falvation of tinners 2. We (hall 

(hew. Wherein it is that this approbation of the gofpel* 

method of falvation confifts. 3. We (hall (hew, how faith 

doth approve of it. And la/fly* How it doth djftover, even 

"under the greateft temptation*, that it indeed doih approve 

of this method to an utter rejection of all others. 

' 1. As for the go/pel contrivance which, faith approves 
of, yc may take iorne account of it in the following re- 

(i.J It leans upon a twofold fuppofition. in reference to 
man's eftate. The one is that which we Cv.\d our Lord af. 
ferting of the church of Laodicea, Rev. iii. 17. And it 
is equally true of all naturally. All men, by nature, "are 
wretched and mi ferable, and poor, andb;ind, and naked." 
" Poor ft raying apoftatc man has his eyes put out, and knows 
not how to take one ftep towards happinefsj he is as blind 
at aftone, Nor has he any thing to fcieen Limfclf from 
Y a \\«. 

the wrath of a tin- revenging God * fin has made hint naked : 
he has now no garment to clothe him, to keep the (hame of 
his nakednefs from being feen. He is a per fed bankrupt, 
and cannot go to the charge of one good thought. Ran- 
fackhis heart, look never fo narrowly into it, ye (hall not 
there find fo much goodnefs left by fin, as to furnifh oert 
one really good and acceptable thought. Upon all thefe 
accounts, he is miferable and wretched with a witnefs. 
Again, this contrivance lags down as a foundation this grand 
fap^ofition, that man can do nothing for the fupply of his 
own wants. 

(2.) The gofpel is a difcovery of a bleffed contrivance 
that God has laid down for the falvatioo of finners, for 
providing them a bleffed fupply of all thefe defedts, Therfe 
was from eternity a happy contrivance framed, for provid- 
ing fmfol roan with a garment, a robe of righteoofnefs, 
that the (hame of his nakednefs may not appear; and for 
preparing eyc-fa!vfc to him, to cure his natural folly and 
blindnefs ; and riches to him, that he may have a fufficicnt 
frock to live upon in time and for eternity, even richnefs of 
grace, and richnefs of glory, the nnfearchable riches of 
Chr.ft. For, 

(3. ) This bleffed projecl provides all this fopply for poor 
finful man, in Jefus Chrift, the Mediator of the cove- 
nant; «« All the treafores of wifdom and of knowledge are 
hid in him ; for it pleafed the Father, that in him fhould ' 
all fulnefs dwell," Col.i 19. and ii. 3. And that upon this 
bleffed defign, that all his p-ople might come to him as the 
great repofitory of wifdom, a»d thence derive fuch fapplies 
as they find occaflVm far. He is abf* to furnifh them with 
riches of grace h»:re, and riches of gl®ry hereafter; for 
with him "are dur.ible riches and righteoufnefs," Frov* 
viii. 18. And hence i is {hat we find him pre fling the 
Laodicean church to come to him, that fhe might have 
« gold tried in the fire, that (he mighi be rich j and white 
raiment, that (he might be clothed, that the (name of her 
nakednefs might not appear; andeye-falve, that fhe might 
fee," Rev- ili. i-8. 

(4.) There is in this contrivance away laid down, for 
putting the perf >ns whom God defigns to fave in ike ac- 
tual pofleffion of that bleffed provision that is m.-de for 
them in a Mediator - y and fuch a' way as is exactly adapted 


to the wife and holy ends God propofes to himielf in the 
whole project. 

(£•) The great defiga God aims at, both in making- this 
prorifion for the ftipply of the wants of eleft tinners, and 
•inputting them in the poffeflion of it, is, on the one hand, 
to advance glorious grace ; and, on the other, to lay man 
low. This is exprefsly afferted to be the defign of God in 
carrying on this project and contrivance, i Cor. i. 29, 30, 
31. Chrift Jefus «• is made of God to us wifdom, righteouf- 
uefi, fandtification and redemption j that no fiefh might glory 
10 his fight, but that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord.'* 
Man has wifdom : but there is no accefo ior him to glory in 
it, fince God has provided and treafured it up for htm in 
Chrift Jefus ; and not only fo, but actually put him in pof» 
feffion of it; for he is made of God wifdom to him. Man 
•by this means, is clothed in a (lately robe of righteou faffs; 
but he has nothing to glory of, fince, I may fa>,God 
not only prepares the robe, but puts it on. Chrift Jefus 
being made of Gud lighteoufnefs to man, he is made holj , 
and fo made meet to be a (barer of the inheritance of the 
•faints in light ; but what has he to boaft of, fince it is 
entirely owing to the Lord Jefus Chrift that he is f o ? 
This is that great contrivance which taith approves of. 

a. As for the na.ureo this approbation which faith gives 
of it, whereby it evidences its own truth and reality, we 
may take it up in four things. 

(1.) Some knowledge of it. Approbation ever implies 
knowledge : There is no approving o- that which wc know 
not. And before we do approve this blcficd contrivance, 
we mud fee it in a fupernatural light; none* ever uill ap- 
prove of it, who fee it onJv with a carnal eye ; for to 
fuch it is foolifli and weak. To fave finnrrs by a crucified 
Saviour, in fuch a way as to afcribc all the glory o; it to 
the grace, mercy, and love o- God, without allowing 
man to divide the fpoils with God, " is foolifljnefs to the 
Greeks, and a flumbling-block to the Jews," 1 Cor. i- 25. 
and it ever will be fo,unlefs to thofe into whi.-fe n;> and 
hearts God has u fhined, to give the light o the know- 
ledge of the glory of God in the face of Jefus Chtift." 

(2-.) It takes in the heart's fatisfafi ion with God's ends 
and dcfigns in this Weffed. device. What thefc are, yc 
nay undeiftaad from what we did juft now difcourfe to 



you. They arc eafily reducible to thefe three. Fitfi* He 
aims at the fal virion of his own cleft. Secondly* He ck- 
figns to fave them in fuch a way, as that they ihall have 
no (hare in the glory of their falvation. Thirdly* He de- 
figas to have all the glory of it to his own blefled name. 
Now, when one approves the gofpel contrivance for the 
falvation of Gnners, rhen his heart is fatisfied with all thefe 
d^figns. The fir it of them would reliQi well enough even 
wirh a carnal heart ; it is natural to every one to defue 
falvation : but the other two will never go down with any 
- who is not, by a day of God's power, made willing. No- 
thing but omnipotent grace can make man content to (loop 
fo low, that the Lord alone may be exalted. 

(3.) This approbation take* in the heart's fatisfa&icn with 
the means Gad has made choice of for compafling thefe 
blefled defigns. The mind fees them in God's light; 
and the heart refls in them as proper and fufficient, fitch 
as became the wifdom of God to appoint and .make 
ufe of, in order to the attainment of thefe ends; and 
h j re on, 

(4.) There enfues the heart's cleaving to this contrivance, 
even to the whole of it, with univerfal latisfac~tion, being 
fully content with it in all its parts, and preferring it to all 
other ways; nay, not only fo, but counting them lofs and 
dung, fo it may h.tve an inrereft in this way and method of 
God's contriving. This is that a&iog of faving faith that 
gives a fure title to Chrift and all his purchafe. He that 
thus approves of this bleffed device, in fo doing putteth ro 
his feaJ, that God is true in the record he hath borne ; and 
this is the record that God bath borne, that he hath provi- 
ded life, and that « this life is in his Son," 1 John v. io. 
When once a finner is brought this length, then God reach* 
es all his defign, gets ail that giory that be is feeking: and 
therefore no more can be required in order to the tinner's 
obtaining the advantage of that contrivance. It were cafv 
to make it appear, that all the defcriptions of faving failh 
that we find in the fcripturcs terminate herei I proceed 


3. To inquire particularly, how faith doth approve of 
this contrivance; or, what it is in ic that it doth approve* 
And ia anfwer to thh, we fay, faitkp-approj es of it, 



(i.) As a way full of infinite wifdom. The manifold 
wifdom of God ihines with fuch a dazzling lull re in the 
eye of faith, that it fills the foul with admiral ion at the 
depth of wifdom that doth appear in this bkfTed contri- 
rance, which reconciles the feemingly irreconcileable inter- 
efts of juftice and mercy in God, the one whereof kerns 
to reft fatisfied with nothing (hort of the finner's death, and 
the other demands his lite : moreover, it admires this 
contrivance, becaufe it reconciles thefe two feemingly irre- 
concileable dc fires, viz. that of the glory of God, and that of 
our own falvation. Both thefe we mould ever have, and 
both thefe every oae that is favii.gly enlightened will have : 
But how they could have been together, in the fame foul, 
the wit of men or angels could never have contrived. 
For the glory of God's faithfulnefs in his, of his 
authority 9 purity, and wifdom in his law, fecra to reft fatis- 
fied with nothing (hort of the finner's deftruciion ; therefore, 
in defiring the glory of God, he muft have at once dtfucd 
his own damnation ; and confequently, in defiring his own 
filtration, he muft have de fired God's difhonour. But now 
this bleffed contrivance lets us fee how thefe two may be, 
not t>n!y reconciled, but made infeparable one from the 
other. Further, as faith approves of, and admires the wif- 
dom of God in the contrivance, fo, 

(2.) Faith approves of this as a way Jull of love and 
foodnefe • and confequently as that which highly fuits the 
nature of God, who xcprcfents himfclf as lave, " God is 
love," x John iv. 8, And the foul fees and perceives a 
bleffed fuitablenefs betwixt God's nature and his act- 
ings. Hereby it perceives the love of God in that he 
laid down his life for his people. This is that which the 
apoftle takes notice of, Tit. iii. 5 — 7. " But after that 
the kindnefs and love of God our Saviour toward men 
appeared, not by works of righteoufnefs which we have 
done, but according to his mercy, he faved us, by the 
wafhing- of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft, 
which he fhed on us abundantly, through Jefus Chrift our 
Saviour : that being juftified by his grace, we (hould bs 
made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life." Thus 
faith fees this way, as that which is full of kindnefs, grace, 
mercy, and love ; and ic is highly pleafed with it as 


(3.) Faith approves it as a way wherein much of the 
poiver if God appears , in that it infallibly obtains his end i 
*• drift crucified to the Jews is a ltumblin,! block, and 
to the Greeks fooHfhnefs ; but to them that believe he is 
t-he wifdom of God, and the power of God." They fee 
more power, ftrength and efficacy in it, than any cieatiire 
can prerend jultly unto ; and therefore they do, on this 
account, approve of it, as becoming the omnipotent 

(4 ) Faith approves of this way as that which exceed- 
ingly honours God's law in all its parts; The obedience 
that the Son of God gave to it in his life, was the highefl: 
honour it was capable of; and therein there was a glori- 
ous teftimoity ot refpect given to the authority of God, 
his wifdom, goodnefs, and purity, in the framing the law : 
llor was the fan ft 1611 of the law hfs honoured by Ch rift's 
Undergoing the penalty in his death, than the precept was 
by the obedience of his life. 

(50 Faith looks upon this way as a way that is full of 
peace , and approves it as fuch, all challenges being an- 
ftvired by it. The law has nothing to demand.. If it re- 
(juirc perfect obedience, then Chrift hath fulfilled all right- 
e'oufnefs, and fo is become <c the end of the law for right* 
coufnefs to everyone that believes:" if it demand the 
hearing of the penalty, then Chrift has done that alfo * 
he became obedirnt Vven unto death; fo that he ahfwered 
fhe law in both its demands. God, by railing him- f root 
the dead, declared himfelf fatis-ned, both as to the ©no 
and as to the other. And God juftifving, confeience haa 
no more right to open its mouth againft the firmer* Thus 
is the peace and comfort of the (inner excellently provided 
for by this contrivance: and faith approves of it with re- 
fped to this* 

(6.) Faith approves it as a my full of fecurity for 
poor finners. The foul doth by faith fee proviflon laid in 
again ft all thefe things whence it has any reafon to fear 
hurt ; and all this put in the hand of one who is wife 
to difpenfe it feafonably, and has engaged to do no lefe. 
It ifees a fountain (landing ever open, for preventing any 
hazard from the guilt of fin ; it fees armour laid in for 
preventing any danger From the power of fin ; and withal 
ftrcngth provided, for the management of that armour. 



In one word, it feea here what is (ufficient to fatisfy all its, 
de fires. Thefe may be all reduced to two, God's glory, 
and its own falvatioH. Here it fees them fo well provided 
for, that they are now not only confident, but linked to- 
gether, after fuch a fort, that not only the falvation of 
tinners is confident with the glory of God, but, more- 
over, the greater the tinner be, the greater glory God has 
in hi* falvation : and upon this account the heart doth ap- 
prove this blcfled device, as that which in particular is 
fuited to its own falvation, counting it a u faithful fay- 
ing, and worthy of all acceptation, that Cbriil came into 
the world to fave tinners of whom it felt" is chief." Hereon 
the foul cleaves to this way with fati?.facl>on and delight, 
as the only way wherein its own falvation and God's glory 
are both provided for-, I proceed now, 

4. To inquire, how faith doth difcover its fatisfaftion 
with) and approbation o/j this way of falvation* And 
this it doth, 

(1.) By the foul's betaking it/elf, in all its Jlraits^ 
ftmrs, and florrns, to this as its anchor. If guilt be 
charged upon the foul, it has no other relief but this: if 
the temptation reprcfents God's glory and the foul's fal- 
vation incontinent, the foul flees to this,' as to its only 
refuge: if djath and judgment, and. its appearance before 
God, prefcuL themfdves to the foul's eye ; it fixes only 
on this, as that which alone can give it relief in all its 

(z.) In that the foul doth ever confidently rejeft all other 
ways that may be tendered. Other ways there are which will 
offer themfelves to the foul in its {traits for its relief ; fuch 
as, diverfions to take off the mind, duties to fatisfy the 
confcience, promiies of amendment for the future : faith 
rejects all thcfe as infufficient ; it will not look to them 
for relief. 

(3.) When at any time,, through the power of tempta- 
tion, any thing has been attributed to felf, to a derogation 
from the glory of grace in this contrivance, faith will 
difcover its fatisfa&ion with this way, .by the foul's J//*- 
pleafure with itfelfy for difcrediting this bleffed contri- 

(4..) The foul dif covers its approbation of this way, 
by that high fatisfaftion and delight which it takes in its 


own conformity to it. When faith gets the foul moulded* 
into the very frame of this contrivance, r citing in this 
w ay, taking thame to itfelf, attributing all to God, then 
jt fills the foul with rcfrefliing fweetnefs and fatisfaaion. 
The conformity the fouls fees in itfelf to this wayj makes 
it lovely to itfelf. 

(5.) It difcovers its approbation of this way, in that it 
will refv.fe ta abandon it. Sometimes, through the pow- 
er of temptation, it may be made to fear exceedingly, 
that it get not hold taken of this blefled device ; but it will 
not be beat from this, that it is a way fuffirient and able 
particularly to fave it, could it but bring itfelf to venture 
on it. Therefore it will lay the weight of its falvation 
upon this way and nont other ; and the doubts that are 
in fuch a foul, are not about the fufficiency of the way, 
but about its own being in it. 

2«7yi but paflrrTg this mark, I (hall now offer a fecend. 
Wherever faring fajth is, it will difepver itfelf, by lead- 
ing the believer to an approbation of the whole law of God f 
not only as holy, juft, and fpiritual, but as good. 

A ftranger to the faith of God's elect may approve of 
fome of the commands of God. A temperate man may ap- 
plaud highly the law that forbids drunkennefs : the churl 
may approve the law that forbids prodigality. In a word, 
every one may approve fuch precepts as ftrike not againft 
his own peculiar fin or fins; but the believer approves 
the rcvclaton of God's will concerning man's ho) inefs and 

An unbeliever may be induced to own the law to be 
fpiritual, juft, and holy ; but never can he, nor will he f 
be induced practically to own it as good: here it flicks. 
It is only faith that can fay, that his commandments are 
not grievous ; for w the carnal mind is not fubjt& to tbe 
law of God, neither indeed can be." Tbe light of nature 
nay oblige men to judge fuch and fuch things lawful or 
unlawful, juft and unjuft; but the unrenewed will can 
never be induced to beud toward the law of God as that 
which is good. Whatever it may be faid to do as to fome 
of God's commands, yet it can never have an equal re- 
fpeft to them all ; for an unrenewed will is not fubjed, nor 
can be fubjeci, to the law of God. It is taith that receives 
Chrt(t*% a Kinj, and fo fubjeas the foul to all his laws. 




it-receives him as the King of Salem, the King of peace, 
one that has framed all his laws (o, that they ail concur 
to promote that great end of government, the peace of his 
fubjecrs. And this engages the foul to love the law oi the 
Lord, and to delight in it. " O how love I thy law/' 
fays the Pklmift, " it is my meditation all the day," 
Pfal. czjx. 97. The righteous man's delight is in the 
law of the Lord, Pfal. i. a. ' And it is only the righteous 
nan who cart delight in the law of the Lord ; for if we fpeak 
ftriaiy, the ungodly, the unbeliever, can delight in or 
approve of none of God's lawr. Sometimes indeed, as has 
been faid, the unrenewed man may reflect with delight on 
fame of God's precepts ; but he has no regard 10 them as 
foch. It is rather the things enjoined, than the precepts 
enjoining, that pleafes him. It is not the cor.gruity of the 
thing to the divine will, but to his own inclination, that 
gains ft is approbation. 

Now, what fay ye to this evidence ) Can ye fay, that 
yedo approve of, and confent cheerfully to, the whole 
revelation of God's will, concerning that holinefs and 
obedience which he requires of us in the fcripture? Such 
ti do indeed approve thus of the law of Gud, may it is 
like be perplexed about it, while others, who are alien* 
ate from the life of God, will boldly pretend unto it. To 
tftefe bold pretenders I (hall only fay, if they wilfully de- 
ceive them fe Ives, they will cne day fm3rt for their Folly : 
and if they do hold fad this mi (lake, it will if rue in ano- 
ther, and that an irrecoverable one ; it will make them 
(tumble into hell, inflead of going to heaven. A3 f <r 
fiich who know not well whether they do thus approve of 
the law of God or not, I (hall endeavour their relief, by 
mentioning fome of the ordinary ways whereby the foul is 
wont to exprefsor difcover its approbation of the whole of 
that 'obedience and holinefs which God requires of us, and 
that even while it is at the low eft ebb of ftrength and comfort. 

'X* The believing foul looks' at that change of its na- 
ture, and its renovation into a conformity to the law of 
God, with un fpeak able fatisfaclion. None doubt, who 
know any thing of the go f pel, that all believers are re- 
newed and changed, born again of the water and Spirit, 
renewed after the image of God, being created again in 
Chrifr Jefua to good ' works, Eph. ii. 10. I do more- 

Z *\« 

over fuppofe, that all who have undergone this change 
fince they came to years, are in Come meafure confcious 
of it. I do not fay, that every one can fee diftindlly all 
the lineaments and draughts of the new creature, every 
particular law written upon the heart ; or that every 
one can even fee fo much of this change, know its re- 
novation fo far, as to bs fure he is a new creature, crea- 
ted in Chrift Jefus to good works. But few, if. any, 
of the perfons named, will be found, who cannot fay 9 
and who do not know, that once they had no liking to 
holinefs, or to the law of God, but bad an averfion from 
conformity to it s but now, if they fee no more, yet they 
fee a dcfire of being universally holy, and that tbey have 
no quarrel at it. Thus far they fee and know. Now fw 
tnis change is fat is Tying, in fonie meafure, to the be- 
lieving foul; it looks back with delight to it, and 
thereby difcovers its love to the revelation of God's 
will concerning holinefs. 

2. The believing foul difcovers its liking to the law 
of God, by cherifhing and entertaining t];e motions that 
it finds in iifelf towards this law. In the renovation of. 
our natures, we are made partakers of the divine na- 
tare ? we have a principle of life, a new heart, im- 
planted in us; and this, though it be not always dif. 
cemible, yet is ever acting and exerting its power in mo- 
tions and inclinations toward the law of God, and obe- 
dience thereto. Every believer cannot but feel thefe in 
himfelf, if he obferve carefully. Now, the believing 
foul entertains and thefe, and takes a peculiar 
delight in fo doing ; he has peace and red while he 
does it: u Great peace have all they that love thy Jaw." 
Whereas, on the other hand, he has none when he does 

3. It conceives a particalar fatisfaclion in fuch acts 
of obedience as carry in them any good degree of con* 
formity to the law of God. When a believer attains 
to livtlinefs, fpiritually, and concern, joined with felt- 
denial, and a dependence on th« Lord Jefus Chrift for 
accept jnce in any duty or act of obedience, then he is 
pltafed therewith: and herein he difcovers a great love 
to the law, refpecling both the matter and manner of the 
duly performed. 

4 The 


4. The belief er discovers his delight in the law of the 
Lord, by that fweet complacency and fatisfacVion which 
be will find in any meaftire of this holinefs that others 
have attained to. Faith looks at the holinefs required 
by the law tranfcribed into the lives of fcllcw.believers, 
and is highly pleafed therewith ; and the more there is 
of it tranfcribed into the walk and life of any, the 
higher value it will teach ns to put upon them. Ic 
makes us look on luch as have any thing of this image 
of God as excellent and happy. If the believer cnnnot 
fee himfelf conformed to this law, yet he is pleafed to 
fee others, and looks npon them as the excellent ones of 
the earth. If he cannot get his own heart fo engaged as 
he* would wifli ; yet he will look upon them as happy, 
in whofe hearts -are the ways of God, This is a clear 
proof of the believer's being pleafed with, and of his 
delighting in N the revelation of the will of God concerning 
nan's holinefs, when he is delighted with' the ptdiure of 
hj wherever he fees it, in himelf or others. 

5. The believer difcovers his liking to God's law, that 
enjoins holinefs, in that he will not entertain the lcaft 
diflike of it, when he is under the greateft temptations to 
do fo. When he falls under apprehtnfions that he fliall be 
ruined for want of a due compliance with the law, he 
may well be difpleafed with himfelf, but he will not be fo 
with the commandment, Rom. vii. 10, 12. " The com. 
mandment which was ordained unto life, 1 found to frc 
unto death ; but the law is holy, and the commandment 
holy, j lift, and good." However it be with me, whatever 
becomes of me, though I die and periih, yet the law is 
good. The foul under the conduct of faith, though it 
cannot reach a full compliance with the will of God, ytt 
it diflikes nothing in it. Though the law enjoin? duties 
crofs to its natural inclinations, attended with great diffi- 
culties, and interfering with its interefts in the world, yea, 
and fuch as expofe to great hazards ; yet it will entertain 
no diflike at any thing in this good law, nor defire to have 
any alteration or abatement. ' Itfelf it would have 
changed, and brought to a compliance with the will of 
God; but never will it defire any alteration in the law. 
It may defire fome alteration fometimes in God's provi- 
dential difpofai of its concerns ; but as to the commands 


which refped our bolinefs ami obedience, it wills,, it 
willies no change ; and this is a fure proof of its high efteenr 
of the law. 

6. That foul that is under the conduct of faith, will 
evidence its fatisfadion with the law by its difpleafurc with 
itfelf, upon every occafion wherein there is any new diiV 
covery of its own want of comformity to the law in any 
notable inftance. No fooner comes it to understand, that 
it has fallen fhort of conformity to, or fwerved from 
r!ie law, in any. notable inflance, but it h filled with 
felf-abhorrence. Holinefs it would be cioathed with t 
anj likes; and therefore, when it gets a view of itfelf 
without ir, in any eminent meature, it cannot be recca* 
cikd to itfelf. 

7. Faith difcovers its approbation cf the law, by fil- 
ling- the dul with ckilrcs and longings after a conformity 
ru the law. It puts that prayer of the Pfalroift in the 
foil's mouth, u O that my ways were directed to keep thy 
fiatutes," Pfal. cxix. 5. That pfalm is full of fuch de* 
lircs, which are fo many illuftrious proof of the Palmift'a 

8. To conclude, the foul under the conduct of faith* 
fhevis its approbation of, and fatisfafiion with, the whofe 
revelation of the will of God concerning that holinefs be 
requires cf man, by refuting to be fatistied with any con* 
dition, wherein it falls fbort of a full conformity to it* 
Ttll fuch a foul, that God is reconciled to it ; nay, tbougU 
God hirnfelf intimate to the believer's foul, that he is re- 
conciled to him, that he has forgiven his fins, that be 
means to take him to heaven, that it lhall pafs the power of 
devils or men todifappoint him of heaven ; yet all this will 
make him fatisn>d, till he obtain a full conformity to the 
law of God. The bsliever fays, with Ham an in another 
c"ii>, E;Hi. v. 13. u All this availeth me nothing, fo long 
a; I IV e MorJecai;" fo long as I fee any fin, nothing can 
fatiify fully: " Dut when I awake, i fiiall be fatisned 
wiih thy likenefs," Phi. xvii. 15. Never will I be fat is- 
tied till 1 be like thee, fays the believing foul. Now, if 
ye can fay, that ye do thus approve the whole revelation, 
of the will of pod concerning duty, then ye do believe 1 
if not, ye do not believe. We now proceed to a 

Tfcrd mark, whereby ye may know whether y.e do be- 


lieve or not ; and that is taken from the exprefs testi- 
mony of the apoftle Peter, " To you, therefore, who be- 
lieve, he is precious," I Pet. ii. 7. Wherever there is 
fiith, it raifei Chrift high, and places him on the throne, 
both in the mind and in the affections. Now, how i« it 
with you? Is Chrift precious to you? (l.) Have ye man/ 
thoughts about him ? ferious and fober thoughts, 1 
aean. Few of yon, I fear, have fo; and a fure proof 
this is, that ye have no high efteera of,- and (incere love 
for him- (2.) Are ye at much pains to commend him 
to the efteem and affeclion of others,, efpecially of thofe 
whom ye love mofi? What fay ye to this, parents, chil- 
dren, hu (bands, wives ? take ye care to commend ChriiF 
to one another ? (3.) Do ye prize opportunities of feeing, 
Chrifr, of getting into his acquaintance ? Do ye prize 
the means of his own appointment, for getting difcove- 
ries of him? ('4.) Can ordinances fatisfy you without 
him? Can ye this day go home from thh houfe, as great 
ftrangers to Chrift as ye came, and yet go well fatisfied 
with your day*s work? Then Idare to fay ye do not be- 
lieve. (5.) Do ye rcfoluteiy part with tvtry thing that 
comet in competition with Chrift ? When you muft lofe 
the world or Chrift, or dif oblige the world or Chrift, 
which of the two do ye make choice of? (6.) Can other 
things fatisfy without Chrift? If fo, then truly he is not, 
and cannot be faid to be, precious to you. 

Other marks of faith I fhall now pafs ;. and (hall re* 
duce thofe three that l have given you, to three quef- 
tions, which I crave leave to pofe your conferences feri- 
oufly upon: 1. Are you plcafcd with, do you reft fatisfied 
in Chrift Jefu9 himfclf ? See ye any. lovelinefs in his 
perfon ? or is he to you one void of forraor cornel inefs> 
2. Do you renounce your own wifdom, righteoufnefs, and. 
ftrength, and venture your all upon his wifdom, right- 
eoufnefs, and ftrength? 3, Arc you plenfed with his- 
yoke? do you really think bis burden light, and his yoke 
eafy ? If ye dare aftert, then, that ye have feen, and arc. 
pleafed with the perfon of Chrift, that ye are fatisfied 
with his provifion for your falvation,. and with his- 
yoke ; then 1 dare, in Chrift's name, aifcrt you be- 

Z z. fc 


I (hall conclude this ufe, by f peaking a little to feveral 
forts of perfons among you- We have now been laying 
I ef>re you (bme marks or charade rs whereby ye may 
know youifelves. Let me therefore ierioefly, as in God's 
light, inquire of you, Have ye applied fchofe characters to 
youifelves* that ye might know what your ftate is, whe* 
ther ye do believe or not? Some, I hope, have made con*. 
Science of doing fo, out of a real defire to be at a point » 
this gteat mater: others, I fear, have not been at pains ct> 
be fatisfied in this matter, either out of carelefthefs, or out 
pf fear that poflibly the refult of the trial might not be 
fatLbfying ; or out of a vain prefuroptioa that it was need- 
le fs. 

To the fatter forr, I fay, (i. J Is it not worth your wbilt 
to know whether ye do belike on the Lord Jefus Chiift or 
not ? Care ye not whether ye be faved or damned* whe- 
ther heaven or he!l be your portion? (2.) Have ye no 
regard to the command ef God, that bids you " try your 
ownfdves, and prove yourfelves," that bids you " give aH 
diligence to make your calling and election fare ?" (3.) Tha* 
ye be afraid to know the word, and endeavour never fo in* 
. duitrioufly to hoodwink yourfelves, ye will be made at laft 
to know what ye are, (4. ) Suppofing the worft, whether 
will the knowledge of the worft now or hereafter, when 
there will be no remedy, be moft unpreafant and terrible I 
(5.) Are ye {o fure, that ye need not a trial ? Have not 
others thought themfelves believers, and yet have found 
thflmfdves in a miftake? (6.) Your careleffhefs and negl c\ 
of trying, is a fufficient trial j it plainly mews* that you: 
are not linccre, that you are unbelievers; and therefore we 
lhall lilt you amongft thetn. Believers not only try them- 
felves, but do, moreover, apply to God that he may try 
them, Pfal. exxxix. 23. «« Search me, O God, and know 
my heart : try me, and know my thoughts." 

As for thofe who have been at pains to apply thefe things 
to themfelves, I (hall put this queftion to them : Do ye be- 
lieve on the Lord J^fus, or do you not ? Yc may be caft 
all into three forts and ranks. 

1. Some of you are found unbelievers with a witnefs ; and 
your fin is written in legible characters, even as it were 
with a fun beam. 

2. Some 


s. Some bate endea? oared ro know, but fcatci ccn dc- 
tfrmmtp whether they do believe or not. 

3. A third fost there is* who can fay thy believe e* the 

• I Yhall fpeak (hortly to erch of thefe foits of perfons, and 
then conclude thr*fubjecl. 

Firfl, 1 (hall addrefs myfelf to unbelievers, who rmke , I 
jtar*. the moir confide rablc part in this auditory. To this 
fort belong all the openly prcphane, (wearers, drunkards, 
liars, unclean perfons, fornicators, andadtil cer*, profane rs of 
the Lord's day : and, moreover, a I! grofsly ignorant finners, 
tH felf righteous (inner?, all habitual negleclers of duties, 
if c ret, private, or public; in one word, all who t<o* not 
approve of God's contrivance for the falvation of finners, 
who approve not of ihe la* of God, to whom Chriltis not 
precious. 1 (hall fpeak to you, as fhortly as may be, of 
your fin, your danger and your duty. 

1. I begin with your /r>. 1 fhaJl not infift in difcourfing 
of the nature of unbelief in the general ; 1 fh ;11 only name 
fome cf the ingredients in your tin. If one be accufed ot 
murder, adultery, imeft, or the like, his name is prefcutly 
odious, and every one looks on hirr as a nficr.iter, and that 
juftly. Yet your fin goes a Hep beyond any or all of thefe : 
It has no parallel. While ye view it in bulk, it appears 
little : 1 fhall therefore give you a view of it in its parts> 
and expeftulate with you. in reference to your guilt. 

(1.) Is it a fmall thing to ycu, O unbelievers! to ttample 
upon the authority of God, to condemn it in the moft iignal 
inftance? God has put a ft.imp of his authority on 
the command, to believe on the Loid Jefns, 1 John iii. 23. 
* This is his commandment, that we -fhould believe en the 
name of his Son jefus C?"i(r;" and will nothing h'fs 
ierve, than to attack rhat command which Gcd has declared 
his moft fpecial regard unto? 

. (2.) Is it a fmall thing with you, unbelievers, to charge 
a lie upon the God of tru h ? And this is your (in, 1 John 
v, 10. * 4 H* that believed* not God, h^th made him a 
liar, brcaufe he believeth not the record that God gave of 
his Son." N.iy, you feal this monftreus untruth, tlat the 
God of truth is a liar; for as he that bdievem pure«h his 
feal to the iaithfulnefs of God, fo the unbeliever cabs God 
a liar* and fcts his feal to it. 


(3.) Ye impute filly to the only wife God, and that in 
the moft fignal inftance of hit wifdom. Ail the treafurea 
of wifdom are laid oat in this contrivance. Here ia mani- 
fold wifdom, wifdom in a myftery, the admiration of an- 
gels, the wonder of the world for wifdom. Is- it then fo 
light a matter for yon to charge God, as ye do with folly ? 
Unbelief calls it foolifenefs in the abftraft : while faith 
calls 1 hit contrivance wifdom, and even a matter- piece of 

(4.) Ye charge God with a defi& of goodnefs, and rejec>, 
year trample upon his love, grace, mercy, and kindneft* 
This is the glafs wherein al^ne all theie things are to be 
fern: herein ay pears the love, the kindnefs, the mercy of 
G>d; this is his name* whereby he defircs to be known* 
« The Lord, the Lt<rd God, merciful and gncious ;" this 
is his blentd face which he has di {'covered to us under tht 
gofpsl. Unbelief breaks the glafs wherein God's good ne fa 
m to be feen, blurs this title and name which God values 
himfelf upon, fpits in the very face of God, and contemns 
that difcovery he has made of himfrlf* In a word, it makes 
an attempt upon the very life of God* in this matter. It 
endeavours to ride his cabinet, and carry away the mod 
precious crown-jewel in heaven, that glory which he will 
not give to any other, that is dear to htm as his life. 
The believer, like Abraham, Rom. iv. gives glor to 
God; and the unbeliever takes it away as much as poffibly 
be can. 

(5.) Ye who are unbelievers call Thrift aceurftd* whom 
God has blefted, in whom all the eledt ones are bleffed, 
whom all the angels and faints above do blefs and eternal- 
ly praife. Was it not enough, that our Lord, while on 
earth* did foflfer of this fort from his urnatnral country- 
nun, that ye mud add to their wickedneis ? It may be* 
yc may think to refufe the charge;, but this is a vain at- 
tempt, it cannot do. Where Chrift has once been preached, 
every one eithfr fays, that Jefos is the Lord, or calls him* 
at bed, practically accurfed, and rejects him a* an horrid 
impoftor. And is this a fmall fin to treat the Lord of glo- 
ry fo? 

(6.) As if this were not enough, ye imbrue your hand* in 
the blood of God, crucifying to yourfelves atrelh the Son 
of God, and practically owning and avouching as yoars rhe 



carfed impiety of the Jews Believe i;, u •; a .-..«; n\y woj '> 
but upon the teftimony ot' God's word, t:.jr i:.e> may ha\e 
a hand in crucifying Chrift, who never U* him in the face* 
Thofe we find charged with this guilt, by the r-poflle to the 
Hebrews, Heb. vi. 6. We have no reafon to fuf,»e& that 
moft of them ever faw Chrilt in the face. 

(7.) But may not all this fuflice ? Has not the Son of 
God fufrered enough at your hands, when ye treat him as 
a cur/ed deck*veti and, with the wicked Jews, cry out by 
your practice, •< Crucify him, this fellow is not worthy to 
live :" But mud there be fomc further evidence of your 
fpite again ft the Lamb ot' God? Ay, more, every unbe- 
lierer tramples under foot the blood of the Son of God. 
It is not enough that Chri:l is maligned, and by your prac- 
tice refufed as an import or ; but ye muft cruci y him : an Ji 
as if your fpite cou'd not terminate with his death, yc 
trample lib blood uiivLr foot. Ve have ahe2cly in practice 
rejected Chfht; there wants but one ftep to involve you in 
the guilt of thofe of whom the apoftie fays, Heb. x. 29* 
that they "trode under foot the Son of God, and counted 
the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. " All unbelief 
has foraeihing of thJ6 in it. 

{£.} And that nothing might be wanting to enhance 
your guilt, all this is done under tht pretence of friend/hip ; 
ye cry* Hail Mailer, and then crucify him; ye betray the 
Son of roan with a kifs. Ye wear his livery, eat his bread, 
call him Mailer ; and yet lift up the heel again ft him : 
a crime not to be paralleled by any, but that of Judas; 
the Jews o^ned themfclves his enemies. See Heb. x. 19* 

(9.) Thit the whole Trinity may bear its proportion in 
your curfed opposition to it, ye do drfpite unto the Spirit cf 
God. What can be a higher contempt of the Spirit of 
God, than to refufe his tetiimony, refill his drivings, and 
thereby grieve him ; and this every one of you has dent 
many a day. 

{10.) Ye declare a gofpeUmiuiflry ttfelefs^ ye call not cn- 
]y minifters, but all who have owned Chrift, fools ; ye 
juftity their perfecutors, and mock both God and man in 
your profelTed adherence to the name of Chrift, and pro* 
fcflion of religion. In one word, ye reject Chrilt, refill his 
Spirit, and maltreat his ambafladors. 



Thus far have we (hortly laid before you your fin. With 
the like brevity, I (hall, 

2. Reprefent your danger. Unbelievers, ye fit fecure, 
ye fear no ill. Ye do perhaps promife yourfelves peace, N 
and, with the fool in the gofpel, have long ago fung a 
requiem ;o yourfelves, Soul, take thy reft. Well were rt 
for you, could ye alvvavs deem fo ; but think on it, this 
will not do; 1 afTttre you, your hazard is great beyond 
thought, as fecure as ve fit. That I may, if poffible, 
awaken you. I (hall fhortly tell you, what it is ye are in 
hazard of, and then (hew wherein your hazard lies. And 
if, after a juft confide ntion of thefe two, ye think it not 
worth your while to provide for your own fecurity, then 
ileep on. 

If ye afk what ye have to fear, I (hall give you a flibit 
account of it, from four fcripture-expreffions. 

(i.J It is damnation ye have to fear: « He that believeth 
fhall be faved ; he that believeth not (ball be damned." So 
fays the fcriptu re, Mark xvi, 16. Damnation, though jett- 
ed at by fome, is yet a very grave and momentous thing. 
A fentence pafled by the great Judge, before fo folemn an 
aiTembly as that of angels and men, adjudging poor finneis 
to hell by an irrevocable fentence, and unalterable appoint- 
ment, is finely no light matter. 

(2.) It is ivratb the unbeliever has to fear, and is ia 
hazard of : « He that believeth not is condemned already, 
and the wrath of God abideth on him/' John iii. iS. 36. 
And " who knows the power of God's wrath ?" Who can 
endure the anger of an been fed God ? This expreffion is 
defigned to point forth the feverity of the fentence. It is 
borrowed from men, who, though they may fometimes 
calmly, without any anger, punilh; yet, when they ate in 
wrath, they deal with greater feverity, and are not inftn- 
an ?ed with thefe mitigating confide rations, which fome- 
times bind up their hands. The angry man deGgns not the 
good of the perfon he punifhes, as the other does, but 
bis ruin. So when God defigns to ruin impsnitcnt finners, 
he is faid to deal with them in wrath, 2 ThciT. i. 8, 9. 

(3.) his deftruBion. This tells the event. They who 
fear not God, know him not, and obey not the gofpel, 
are doomed to everlafttng deftru&ion, 2 ThefT. i. 9. Ruin 
ox deftruttion is the doom of unbelievers. Their hopes 



ie future, at well as their prefent enjoyments, are 
ly deftroyed, and that with an everlafting deftruclion. 
) It is called punijbment ; and this points oat the na- 
if that which ye are in hazard of. Ir is a punilhmenr, 
lat a fore one, proportioned to 'your crime. The love 
)d, as great as it is, is contemned, by rejecting the 
1-propoful, for the falvation of tinners; even the love 
: Father, which is fo highly commended in giving his 
and the love of the Son that is fo highly magnified in 
g himfelf. This punilhment will be proportioned to 
alue of that blood which is trampled upon. If ye be 
cd with fo great a debt as is the price of the blood 
xl, it will not be foon paid. It is great in proportion 
; means enjoyed, whereby ye might have obtained an 
:ft among God's chofen ones, had ye managed Ama- 
in fine, it is great in proportion to that fal virion 
b is (lighted, the greatnefs whereof we did illuftrate at 
length formerly. "If the word fpoken by angels, 
ftedfaft, and every tranfgreffion and difobedience re- 
d a juft recompenfe of reward ; how (hall we efcape, 
: negled fo great falvation, which at the fir ft began to 
oken by the Lord, and was afterwards confirmed un- 
by them that heard him?" Heb. ii. 2> 3. « He that 
fed Mofes* law died without mercy, under two or three 
effes : of how much foter punilhment, fuppofe ye, (hall 
5 thought worthy, who hath troddtn under foot the Son 
od, and hath counted the blood of the covenant whe re- 
he was fan&ified, an unholy thing, and hath done de- 
unto the Spirit of grace ? For we know him that 
faid, Vengeance belongeth onto me, and 1 will repay, 
the Lord." 

it wherein lies our hazard, will ye fay, of all thefe 
ye fpeak of ? I anfwer, Ye are indeed in imminent ' 
er. For, 

,) The nature of God makes your punilhment necefla- 
Sin, every fin, is the '< abominable thing which God 
»/' Jer. xliv. 4. Much more is unbelief fo, which on 
account formerly mentioned, has fo me thing in it be- 
i other fins. 

.) God has threatened unbelievers with wrath, damna- 
deftruftion, and punilhment ; and when once he threat. 



•ns, all' his attributes ftaod engaged far the execution. Hn 

he faid, and will he not do ? 

(3.) He has impartially poniflied others: and is not this 
proof enough of the meafure ye may expect to meet with f 
The carafes of the lfraelites fell in the wildernefs, for 

(4.) There is no poffible remedy for your fin. Soch as 
reject Chrift, reject the only remedy ; and if « we fin wil- 
fully a*ter we receive the knowledge of the truth, there 
remaineth no more facrifke for fins, but a certain fearful 
looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which (hall 
devour the adverfariefi, Heb. x. 26, 27. 

(£.) To make all Aire, the oath of God is engaged for 
your puniihment, Heb. iii. 18.; and to u whom fware he 
that they fhould not enter into his reft, but to them that 
believed not ?** Had we time to difcourfe of thefe things' at 
length, yooT danger might bp eafily manifeftecL 

3. I (hall now flint up what 1 have to fay to you, in a 
(hort account of your duty> having already laid before yon 
your fia and imminent danger. The fum of this is that 
which is contained m the words of our text. Believe on the 
Lord J ejus Chrift. Bef >re we come to prefs this duty upon 
you, we rmift 'acquaint you, that we come not in our own 
name to treat with you upon this head; bar under the char* 
after and no ion of Ch rift's ambaffador, cloathed with a 
comotiflion from him. We do come to you in his name, 
and (hall treat with you according to the infrru&ions re- 
ceived from our great Lord and Mailer. According to oar 
inftreclions, then, we do in his name demand and require 
feveral things, all comprehended in that flioit one, Believe 
§n the Lord Jefus Chrift. 

(1.) That ye do own and acknowledge yourfelves fooh, 
blind and ignorant- tinners, utterly void of, and in capable 
by your own endeavours to attain to, any meafure or de- 
gree of the faving knowledge of God ; and that ye do re- 
ceive, reft, rely, and believe, on the Lord Jefus Chrilr, for 
inftrudion, -wifdom, and undemanding of all things that 
are needful to-be known, in order to your acceptance .with 
God, and partaking of his falvation : " Tiutt in the Lord 
with all thy heart, and lean not to thine own underlhmdkig," 
Prov« iii. 5. « Let no man deceive himfelf; if any man 
among you fecmeth to be wife in this world, let him be- 


come a fool, that he maybe wife," 1 Cor. lit. 18.; which 
he can no otberwife be, than by trufting entirely to the 
Lord Jefus Chrift, who is made of God, to all them that 
believe, wifdom. 

(a.) We do, in oar great Lord and Matter's name, de- 
aand and require, that in your appearances at the bar of 
God f or of his deputy your own conscience, to anfwer for 
your fins, ye do never once look to, or in the leaft expect 
lobe abfolved, acquitted, or juftified, on account of any 
righteoufnefs of your own ; but that ye (hall here difclaim 
and re fa fe your own righteoufnefs entirely, without offering 
to plead in your own j unification, your own doings or Suf- 
ferings, reding and relying only upon that righteoufnefs 
which Chrift has wrought, pleading only that Chriit has 
Suffered all the puni foment that the law did threaten you 
with* and has yielded a full and complete obedience to all 
its demands in your name; to which righteoufnefs, a dive 
and paflive, ye truft, as that only whereby ye can be ab- 
folved at the bax of God from the charge laid aga ; nft you, 
cod have a title to that life and happinefs which is the pro- 
coifed reward thereof. Ye muft, with the apottle, Phil, 
iii. 9. « count all but lofs and dung, that ye may win 
Chrift, an J be found in him, not having your own righte- 
oufnefs which is of the law, but that which is through 
the faith of Chrift, the righteoufnefs which is of God by 

(3.) Whereas ye have by your fins rendered yourfelves 
juftly obnoxious and liable to the difpleafure, anger, and 
wrath of the holy and -juft God, we do require, that ) e 
ftiall never offer to him your own faith or obedience, 
your doing or Sufferings, your prayers or tears, as a fatis- 
"la&ion for the offence done him, or a propitiatory offering 
<o atone him, and turn away his anger ; but that ye do truft 
only to the Lamb of God, whom we fet forth as a propitia- 
tion through faith in his blood, in whom alone God is well 
pleafed with, and accepts of Sinners. 

(4 ) We do further demand, in Chrift our Matter's name, 
ihat ye believe on and receive him as your abfolute and Sov- 
ereign Lord ; that ye readily and cheerfully obey all his 
commandments, that ye willingly Submit to his providential 
difpofal of you. 
( J.) We do require that ye believe on and receive him 
A a a3 


as ih- Author, Prefer ver, and Maintainer of fpiritoal Iife> 
ami of the whole work of falsification, to whom tlonc ye 
are to truft, for the beginning, progrefs, and completion 
of a work of fanftification, he being made of God fancli* 
Jicaiior, as well as righceoefnefs, to all them that believe. 

(6.) We do further demand, that ye do all in the name 
cf Chriit, Col. iii. 17. and that ye attempt no duty, go forth 
againft no enemy, but in his name and itrength, and under 
his conduct; trailing to him only for itrength, protection* 
through- bearing, and acceptance. 

In tine, to fum up all, we do, in our great Lord's name, 
require a preftnt ready compliance with all and every one of 
Thcfe demands. We have no inlrru&ions to allow you one 
hour's delay : " Now is the accepted time, now is the day 
of falvationj and to-day, it ye will hear his voice, harden 
not your hearts." We have no com minion to fpeak of to- 
jrr»orro>is. Nor will we, nor can we, nor dare we, part 
■ihefe demands. Comply with all or none* That (hort 
one in our text implies them all and more, which we fhal) 
not now infill upon, having at length opened the nature of 
this duty in our explication of that doctrine which we are 
new improving. 

This is the fubftance of what we do in our Lord's name 
crave; and we are inftm&ed to pre£ thofe demands, and 
urge your coaipliance with them, 1. By intreatles j a- By 
commands ; 3. By threars. 

1. Know then, O unbelievers, thongh our blefled Lord * 
and Matter might preremptorily require obedience to, and 
acceptance of thele demands, and, upon the flrft refufaj, 
turn you all into hell ; yet foch is his condefcenfion, that he 
has given as in commiffion to befeech and intreat your 
compliance. Therefore, as ambaiTadors for Chrift, as tho* 
God did befeech you by us, we pray you in Chrift 's ftend' N 
be ye reconciled to God ;" which can no otherwife be, than 
upon an acceptance of the terms we have propofed toyoc. 
We want not motives to enforce our petition ; we are ra» 
ther ftraitened with the number of them than with want* 
We have fo many in our view, that we know not where %6 
•begi", nor how to end. 

(i.) We eameftly, in C h rift's ftead, befeech your falling 
in with the demands made upon you, which are in them* 
ft-Jvts worthy of all acceptation. We crave no unreafon- 







. aWe thine* when-wc bid you believe on the Lord Jefu 

' ! Chrift. The requeft is fuued to all the prir.riplts of rea 

foil. What rmre fuitable than for the creature to grant ih< 

requeft, comply with' the do fire, (j.ardon the exprcflion) of thi 

Creator ? What more fuiubSe to that rational principle o 

felf- prefer vat ion, and allowable felMovr, than for.i captivi 

to accept of a deliverer* a flave lo receive a Redeemer, \ 

condemned malefactor to welcome a pardon, a (inner to cu 

tertain a Saviour, a wanderer to lay hold upon a guide, ; 

poor man to accept of riches when offered, and a purfau 

offender to betake himfelf to the city of refuge ? Nothing 

fure can beltc* quadrate with that principle that is intent c 

ven in the ver> Irame of our natures. Again, what moi 

fuited to our intercrt than this ? This is a rational principle 

a J when kept within juft bounds ; and it has a great influence 

fjr ordinary, upon the aftions of men. Inrereft, real o 

miftaken, rules the world ; and never did it more apj. ca 

fiian here, pleading (tangly for your acceptance of, am 

compliance with, our defire. A compliance will take yo 

from the dnnghilj to the throne; will enrich beggars with a 

the fulntfsof Cod; will make tht children, nay, the Have 

of Satan, heirs of heaven, and advance them to the eft at 

and dignity of being fons or the Mod High. It is not 

f few things, but all things, that ye may make yours, by ac 

cepting of this offer. If ye believe, all things are your! 

7 things prefent, and things to come, grace and glory ; " al 

. arc your*, and ye are Chrift V Once more, nothing roor 

, fuitable to that principle of gratitude, that is judged to b 

fp much fuited to the nature of man, that he cannot foregi 

it without finking himfelf a degree below the very bcaita 

Nothing, I fay, is more agreeable to gratitude. He whi 

gave- you all that ye poflefs, to whom alone ye muft owe a! 

that ye (hall to eternity enjoy, alks this, fmall asd reafona 

ble boon, this joft defire ; and ue, in his ftead, befecch an< 

intrcat, and obteft your compliance. Shall we get a rriu 

fal, when our demand is fo highly reasonable ? Reafon, felf 

love, intereft, gratitude, all fecond our requeft. If ye ie 

fufc in this, if ye will not hear thefe feconding and urg 

| ing oar earned requeft, then we take God, angels, am 

I men, to witnefs againlt you, that rather than comply wit! 

| the defire of the ambaffador of Chrift, fuppli eating yoi 

ia his name, you will not (land to counteract all thi 

I principle 

principles of rcafon, felf-prefervation, intereft, and grati- 
tude, ro hear whom ye will not refufe in any other cafe. 

(a.) We befeech you, in Chrift's ftead, to accept of hrm ; 
for, we dare fay, he is worthy of your acceptarce, wor- 
thy for whom ye fhould do this thing. He is the 4 « only 
begotten of the Father," and it poffefled of all the glori- 
ous ptrfeclions cf the Father; he is the " expiefs image 
or his perfon," the " image of the invifible God," And 
:>•. upon account of his pcrfonal excellencies, fo upon account 
<>i the £Ood offices he has done you, he deferves good treat- 
ment at your hand. He has honoured your nature, by 
j.-iriiig it to his own, in a glorious and myftical pcrfonal 
union. He has given the inoft pregnant proof of matchlefe 
love to loft tinners: he left the Father's hofom, to bring 
them there; he died, that they rr.ight live; he fuffered, 
that they might be faved. In a word, all the perfections of 
the divine nature, all the perfections of your own, all the 
wounds, every drop of the blcod of the crucified Savi* 
our of the world, all the tears he (bed, all the drops of 
blood he in his agonies did fweat for the relief of poor 
ft uncrs ; all cry with one voice, Sinners, we befeech you, 
believe on the Lord Jefus, Can you refufe what is craved 
by fuch an one ? 

(3.) We pray you, by the « mercies of God." in the 
«' bowels of our Lord Jefus," believe on him, accept of 
Mm ; for his heart is upon this requeft. Nothing more ac- 
ceptable to him, than a compliance with this call; he laid 
xhi foundation of this offer we make to you, in his own 
blood ; he wept at finners folly, that would not comply 
with it ; he has inftituted a eofpel-miniftry for this very 
end, and has been, if I may fo lpeak, at a vaft ex pence of 
gifts and grace for the maintenance of this his' own ordi. 
nance. He has given them moft peremptory orders, to call 
you, to befeech you, to command, to threaten, nay, to 
com|>el you to a compliance. Will ye refufe our Matter 
that requeft be has fo much at heart ? 

(4.) We befeech yon, accept of him now, grant our re* 
queir, as ye would have yours granted by him, at that 
day when ye (hall be obliged to fupplicare him, (landing 
before his bar, as pannels before the Judge of all the earth. 
None (hall have their requeft granted in that day, who will 
not grant ours now. Will ye not then hear our Matter now ? 



ITy« rcfufc him now, how will you think to obtain any fa* 
tout from him then ? 

(5.) We befeech you, in the name of all the glorious 
Trinity 9 to grant our demands. We are ambaffadors for 
Chrift, and God doth befeech you by us. God the Father 
and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghoft, do all join in 
the Amplication. Never were there fuch three names at a 
fupplication, never fuch three hands at a petition. O tin- 
ners! what hearts have ye, if ye can refofe the defire, the 
fupplication, the intreaties of a whole Trinity f All the 
love of the Father,. all the grace of the Son, and all blef- 
fings that are enjoyed by communion with the Holy 
Ghoft, all plead with you for your compliance. Can ye 
refute us, then, O finners, O rocks, O hearts harder than 
rooks ?<* 

(6,) Once: more, we befeech you, be ye reconciled to* 
God, accept of, and believe on our Lord Jefus Chrift ; for 
we affare you, in our great Matter's name, he is no ordfc 
nary (applicant. . He never came with fuch a fupplication 
to the fallen angels; he never came with it to many na- 
tions of the world, who would, we make no doubt, wel* 
come it, if they knew it, and had it. Kings are not ordinary 
petitioners, and therefore it is no wonder they take ill 
with a repalfe. 

Now, O finners ! what anfwer (hall we give to him that* 
feat ns ?~ what return (hall we give to our Matter ? Shall we 
ray 1 that we came to the congregation of Ceres, that we 
(hewed his commiffion, told our errand, in his name fup. 
plicated for a compliance with his demand ? But that ye 
would not hear him, though we befought you in his name, . 
by all the- ties of reafon, felf- prefer vat ion, intereft, and 
gratitude, by the- glorious worth of Chrift, by all the marks 
of hia love to mankind, by all his concern for finners ; that 
we had a whole Trinity feconding us, and that yet we meet 
with a.refnfal ? Are ye willing that we take witnefles upon 
this refufal, and, in our N5a4ter'i name, proteft, that this- 
our reafonable, : nay, advantageous requcft, was reiufed ? 
It is a wonder that ever the commands of a God fhould 
be difobeyed ; but it is yet a greater, that ever the re* 
qujcft, the ir.treaty of a God, fhould be denied. Be af- 
ronilhed, O heavens, at this, God befecching ! and man- 

Aa.2. z.U 


2. If this will not prevail with you, thrn know, that 
we are i aft rutted by our great Lord and M after, to make 
bfc of his authority, and in his name to command your, 
compliance. We do, therefore, in the name of our Lord 
and Mailer JefusChrift, command every one of you, young 
and old, rich and poor, high and low, to believe on him, 
and receive him. Beware oi defpifing his authority* If ye 
be wife, obey his command. For, 

• (t.) Never was there a command given by any king, 
that defer ved more refpecl» upon account of the master of 
it. If ye look to it, ye will find it nothing elfe but this, 
Chrift commands you to be happy, commands you to hea. 
ven ; and will ye, out of hatred of God's authority, damn 
your own fouls ? 

(2.) Obey this command ; for it is his, who is « King 
of kings, and Lord of lords, the Prince of the kings of 
the earth,** the high and only Potentate, who, on ac- 
count of the fupereminent excellency of his natare, his 
intereft in us by creation and prefervation, has the un. 
queftionablc right ta our obedience, without any referva- 

(3.) Difpute not his command ; for it is his- who did 
command you out of nothing, and who can, with the like 
facility, command you into hell, which is infinitely worfo 
than nothing. 

(4.) If ye * ill obey his command, we. have an allow- 
ance, in his name, to make offer of himfelf, and of all his 
glorious purchafe : and, according to our coramiffion, we 
do here, in the name of our great Lord and Matter, offer 
him for wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanclification, and redemp- 
tion ; we offer him, and all he has, to every one within 
thefe ors. Whoever ye be, whatever your fins are, tho* 
as great as ever were the (ins of any of the.fons c/f Adam, 
we do here -ffer Chtift to you, and <fo promife, that if ye 
will accept of him, he will " in no wife caft you out ;" nay, 
he (hall fave you, make yon fons of God, nay, heirs, yea, 
and joint-heirs with himfelf. Beliew on the Lord J'/vs, and 
yt Jball be fa<ved. Take him, and have him ; take him, 
and have with him all things ; all the bleffings that the in* 
finite, eternal, electing love of the Father, defigned for his 
ehofen ones ; all the bleflings that the precious blood of 
God, one drop whereof was of more value than tea thou. 



fend worlds, did purchafe; all that the great and precious 
promifes of the life that now is, and of that which is to 
come, are able to grafp or comprehend ; all that quick* 
lighted faith, that looks from one eternity to another, from 
eternal e letting love, projecting me rev, to eternal falvation, 
flowing from that fountain, can fet its eye upon ; all that 
the enlarged capacity of a perfected foul can hold or deiire to 
all eternity : in one word, all that a God can beftow, or a 
creature receive ; if ye receive Chrift, all is and (hall be 

3. But if we can neither prevail by commands nor in- 
treaties with you, then we give you to underftand, that we 
hive it in com million to urge you to a compliance by threat- 

(i.) If ye believe nor, now in the accepted time, in this 
your day, then the thing* which belong to your peace will 
be «« hid from your eyes." Our Matter wiil give over 
treating with you, call home his ambafladors, or give them 
commiffion to turn to others ; as we find he did when the 
Jews rcje&ed the gofpel- offer, Acls xiii. 46. " Paul and 
Barnabas waxed bold, and faid, it was neceflary that the 
word of God fhould firft have been fpoken to you : but 
feeing ye put it from you, and judge yourfelves unworthy 
of everlafting life, Io, we turn to the Gentiles; for fo hath 
the Lord commanded us." 

■ (2.) We do in our great Lord and Matter's name, pro- 
claim- war againlt you. Unbelievers, finally rejecting Chrift, 
are to him as Amalek, wiih whom the Lord has fworn he, 
will have war from generation to generation. 

(3«)" We are bid tell you, in our Lord's name, O unbe- 
lievers 1. that though ye diibbey one command, ye fhall be 
Biade 10 obey another, nothing fo much to your comfort 
and advantage. If ye oliey not that command, « Believe, 
and be faved 5" then >e fnall be obliged to obey that, " Go, 
ye curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and 
his angels." Now, chule you which ye will obey. This 
day ye have had life and death fet be fere you ; either then 
ye muft chufe life, and live ; or chufe death, and die. An 
anfwer we do, in our Matter's name demand. If once he 
. call us back, and forbid us to treat any more with you ; if 
he give up dealing with you, then we may fay, Woe to 
you when he departs from you, When be calls home his 



couragement to fiich as are great finners, but none to any 
to be fj. « Shall we fin, becaufe grace abounds ? God 

2. Study the cotidefcotfan of the covenant to the flate of 
bclhrcrj, who carry about with them ftiil a body of lin and 
deaih, while thsy are here in this houic of their pilgrimage. 
It accepts of ftneere obedience, it provides influences for 
enabling believers to perform it, it provides pardon, for 

5. Study acquaintance with the fpringrof that covenant* 
peace, which believers enjoy in their walk with God, It is 
not their own merir r but God's mercy; ir is not their own 
blameleffnefs, but the efficacy of Ch rift's blood to take away 
{pots ', it is not the evennefs of our walk, and our freedom from 
trips ; but it is the teflinvvny of a good conference, bearing 
witnefs, that ir is our exercife to have and " keep a con- 
fcience void of offence, toward God and man," by contin- 
ual dependence on God in Chrift, for mercy to remove fin, 
and grace tp help in time of need* Endeavour to undtr- 
ftand thefe things well, and you will then be foon eafed of 
many of your fears. 

6. Acquaint yourfelves with thefe marks of grace, which 
point at its being, rather, than its degree, and are to be found 
in the foul, under all. its temptations. Such are thefe which 
we named already, and cannot now ftand to repeat. 

7. Pray for the influence of that Spirit which fearcheth 
the deep things of God, and can let in fuch a beam of 
light into the foul, as will clear to you fully what is. your 

8. Once more, I fay, wait upon the Lord in the ufe ef all 
meant, and then ye (hall know your (rate. There ii much 
of fovereignty in God's way of dealing with people, about 
this a flu ranee now fought after. " When he giveth quiet- 
nefs, who can give trouble ? and when be hidtth his face, 
who can behokl him r"' Job xxxiv. 29. Therefore wait 
his time. " The hufbandrnan wiiteth for the precioiM 
fruits of the earth, and hath long patience for if, until he 
receive the early and the latter rain," James v. 7/ " Light 
is fown for the righteous," Pfal. xcyii. 1 1. Impatience, 
irowardnefi, (loth, and wearinefs, are indications of a foul 
not in a rery good ttate: therefore vmt$ for it-is " good 



that a man (hould both hope and quietly wait for the falva- 
tion of God," Lam. iii. 26. 

Thirdly^ We come new to fpeak to fuch as can upon 
folid grounds fay, to the praife of rhe glory of God's grace, 
that they do believe on the Lord Jefus. We had once fome 
defign to hold forth your doty at jength fiom another fcrip* 
ture ; but this we fhall wave, at leaft for foir.e time, and on- 
ly at prefent befpeak you. very fhortly. 

1. Has God wrought the work of faith with power in 
you i then ble/s his name. " Take the cup of falvat on, 
call upon the name of the Lord," and offer praife to him, 
«< who remembered you in your low eftate, becaufe his mer- 
cy endureth for ever." 

2. Walk humbly with your God. Pretences to faith, 
without humility, are mod vain. It is peculiar to faith, to 
lay man low, that God alone may be exalted. 

3. Ye are by faith ingrafted jn Chrift,' then bring forth 
much fruit ; for hereby will he be glorified, and hereby 
will ye make it appear, to your own fatisfaclton, and the 
conviclion of others, that ye are ingrafted upon that Root 
of Jcffe. 

4 Ye have by faith acknowledged Chrift your head ; de- 
pend on him for influences of light and ftrength, that he 
may be all and in all to you. 

5. Be tender of his honour and glory. The honour of 
your bleffed Lord and Matter {hould be dear to yop, and will 
be fo, if ye be indeed his difciples. 

6. Pity thofe ye have left behind you in black nature* 
'< without God, and without Chrift, and without hope in 
the world." 

7. Endeavour xhzxx falvation. Commend Chrift and 
religion to them, by your fraffice and by your converfa* 

8. Sympathife with, and feek the good of God's people* 
to whom ye are joined in fociety, under the blcfled Media- 
tor's conduct and government ; that it may thereby appear 
that ye are members of the fame body, of which Chrift is 
the glorious and exalted Prince and Head. 

Conclufeon* We have now for the fpace of eight Lord's 
days, laid before you who are in a ftate of nature, your fin, 
jnifcry, and hazard. We have for fixteen Sabbaths more* 


infilled on the way of your efcape, and have urged yon to 
betake yourfelves to it. 

Now, I (hall conclude all with that queftion of the pro- 
phet, Ifa. liii. i. " Who hath believed our report ? to whom 
is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" What man, what woman, 
is there in this congregation, that has believed our report, 
in the difcovery we made either of fin, or of the Saviour 
of finners ? Are there none at all? Have we fpent our 
strength in vain, and laboured in the fire ? Have we cad 
the gofpel net fo often, and caught nothing ? Shall we give 
this melancholy account of our embafly to you ? Lord, we 
came to the congregation of Ceres, and displayed thy ter- 
rors before their eyes, yet none were alarmed. We proclaim- 
ed a Saviour, but none received our report. They would 
none of thee, out rejected the counfel of God againft them- 
fclves. Muft we, with Elias, be made to intercede with 
God againft you ? If we be put upon this, we have a heavier 
charge againft you, than he had againft I frael. "Lord," 
fays he, " they have killed thy prophets, and digged down 
thine altars," Rom. xi. a, 3. But we may fay, Lord, they 
have killed thy Son, rejected thy gofpel, and mocked thy 

Now, at lor you, who have not bAirved out report, 1 
have two or three words to leave with you. (1.) Ye are 
the plague of the Church, the burden of the land, the Achan 
in our camp. No fin has fo great a hand in the Lord's 
quarrel, as unbelief. (2.) Ye are the encumberers of the 
ground; and who can tell but God, who has fpared you 
long, and dunged and digged about you, may iffue forth 
that command, " Cut it down, why cumbereth it the 
ground?" (3.) The Lord be judge betwixt you and us. 
We have warned you, and ye will not take warning; we 
have offered Chrift, and ye have refufed him. What will 
ye anfwer at the bar of God, when ye and we (hall be filled 
togther, and we (hall tell, Lord, we offered thee to thefe 
■wretches ; but they would none of thee (4,) u If our 
gofpel be hid, it is hid to them that are loft ; in whom the 
god of this world has blinded the eyes of them that believe 
nor, left the light of this glorious gofpel of Jefus Chrift, 
who is the image of God, (hould (htneinto them/ 9 a Cor. 

iv- 3-4* 

To you, if any fuch there be, who have believed our 
report, wc fay, (u) We bid's the Lord who has given yon 



<connfe1, and defire to join in an eternal fong on yonr be- 
bgt -mndrwr tear* part in that bleffed concert, where your 
falvation will come in as one of the grounds of the fong. 
(2.) Whatever God has done for you, afcribe the glory of 
it to him, and to him alone ; for from the laying the cor- 
ner ft one, nayt from the firft wound of the ground in dig- 
ging a place, for K> to the putting on the cop-ftone, all is 
his doing, and his only. If we have been inftrumental, 
pray for us, that we may be found of him in peace at his 
appearance, and may be helped to a faithful discharge, and 
a fjecefsfal management of our work, to the good of fouls. 
(3.J Dearly beloved in our Lord fihee we « look for the 
Saviour, the Lord JefusCh rift," from hcavv.i, " who (hall 
change pur .vile bodies, that they may be fa {hi one d like 
unto his glorious body-, according to the working whereby 
be is able to fubiiuc all "things unto'himfelf," (land faft in 
the.Lord: for what is our hope,- our joy, our crown, our 
gfory^ln, the day af the Lord'} Are not even ye, if ye 
Sand faftin the Lord ? Prepirs tor fufFerings. Alt that will 
Kre godfy'in Chrift Jefns, muft travel through hardfhlps 
and difficulties. It is fhe character of the glorified faints; 
they- -are? a people "come out of great tribulation, who 
have waftien then garments in the Mood of the Lamb." 
Prepare! ftand fait.; and he who is able (hail prefent yqa 
ttuTtlefs, before the prefence of his glory, with exceeding 
M>" Jafci ver. 24- 

3flo*bIni be glory : in all thfc Churches. Amen* 

IK or Of PA*TSICOMl>» 


(E»*«— ■■. W HO^ O* ■ ■ niiJii.JB i 






Jofh. xHir. 15.— And if it ftem evil unto you, to fervc 
the Lord j ckufe you this day whom ye wil} fervc ; 
whether the gods which your fathers fervedy that viert 
on the other fide of the flood £ or the gods of the 
Amoritesy in whofe land ye dwell ; but as jfor me and 
my houft) we will ferve the Lord* 

I^HIS verfe 13 a part of the laft difcourfe* wherewith 
Jofhua, the famed captain»general of IfraeJ, enter- 
tained that people at Shechem, whither he had called them 
together that he might fpeak his mind to them before his 
death, as we may underitand from the beginning of this 

And in this farewel difcourfe, he firft reminds them of 
the humbling ftory of their forefathers' idolatry, before the 
Lord called them, in the 2d verfe; and thence to the 14th 
▼erfe, he entertains : tnem with a flvort rehear fa 1 of the 
Lord's remarkable lcindnefs, in the whole courfe of his 
providence to Abraham, and to his feed, for near the fpace 
of five hundred years ; that is, from the time of Abraham's 
being called to the prefent time, wherein his feed were put 
in the peaceable pofleffion of the land of Canaan, according 
to the promife made to Abraham. After this, in the 14th 
▼erfe, he infers, from the whole, a ferious exhortation to 
hi%< the Lor J, of whofe goodnefs they and their fathers 


TffE CHRISTIAN'! BUtY. f 9 i 

bad- fo ample proofs, and to abandon thofe idols- whom 
rheir fathers ferved on the other fide the flood, the river 
Euphrates, and in Egypt. 

And in the words we have ready he prefix rhis exhor- 

i. By an argument. And,- 

a* By a declaration of his own refolution. 

The argument lies U the lirft part of the verfe, And if 
H fee m evil* &c. 
■ For: the opening it, we are, 
" i. To fee what the argument is. 

«; How it is expreifed. 
. .3. Why it is fo expr?fled. 

As for the argument* it is Shortly this : If, while I ex- 
hort you t6 ferve the Lord, and abandon fbange gods, I 
pfefayou to nothing but what is evidently your intereuv 
as well as your duty; then Tu rely ye ought cheerfully, and 
of choice to comply. But fo it is clearly ; for what can be 
more evidently for your good, than to abandon idols, which 
your fathers found it their intereft to leave, and which were 
aot able to deliver you from yeur 'flavery in- Egypt ; and 
idols which were not able to defend their worfliippers atjainft 
you, and to cleave to that God of whofe goodnefs ye have 
had large proofs, and your fathers alfo for a long trait of 
time I This is the argument. 

; Ntxh We are to look, how it is expreflcd ; and we find 
that it is propofed, 

• i.~ By laying down a fuppofition, lfitfeem evil, &c. 
. a. By a fort of concefljon upon that fuppofition, Cbufe 
je this day, &c 

Firftt We fay, he makes a fuppofition, If it fetm evil 
unto youy &c. i that is, if, after all that ye have heard and 
ieen of the vanity of idols, and the advantage of the Lord's 
service, ye can find juft reafon to think it for your hurt, I 
am not to hinder you from chafing where ye may do better. 
Now, this fuppofition imports the evident abfurdity of the 
thing fuppofed, as much as if be had faid, If ye ferioufly 
confide r things, it cannot hut feem juft, reasonable, and for 
your intereft, to ferve the Lord. 

1 Secondly* We. have, as it. were, sv conceflioB r Chafe ye this 
day whom ye will ferae ; that is, if there be any with whom 
ye may be better, look out for them, and ferve them : 


and chi5| as the fuppofition, implies alfo a ftrong infirufatiotr 
of the abiurdity of that vvbifch fecms allowed, a* rnuchai 
ii he had fa id, it is clear as the fun, if ye leave the Lord* 
)e can no where be fo well; and therefore, were ye left 
to your choice, and did chufe well, ye muft ferve God ; 
reafon and inrereft bind you to if. 

That which we are to confide r, is, why this form Df ex- 
preflion is ufed; why is one thing in appearance faid, and 
the contrary meant? He fuppofes, that it may.fe.eni evil to 
lorve the Lord, when he intends it highly abfurd that they 
should do fo : he refers it to thtm to chufe another,, when 
he meant, that it is foolilh to think of fuch a thing. For 
aufwer, thi* way of expreffirg it gives the argument fevetal 

x. It clearly propofes a very advantageous and engaging 
difcovcry of God, as one that, in the propofal of duty* ha* 
fuch a regard to man's advantage, that he would. biiJLhim- 
do nothiug but what is for his intereft ; as if he ha'd.f&id* 
If this were not for your good, and what may evidently ^p* 
pear to be Co, 1 would not prefs. it on you. Again, 

2. This expreflion fets in a clearer light the abfujdlty o£ 
that which he diiTuades from* Had he pre fled them only, by 
a plain propofal of the advantage of the Lord's fervice* they 
might have heard this .without a due impreflion cf the evil 
of the contrary courfe ; but now they .cannot mi& to £eo 
how hateful it is, when it is, as it were, propu&d to item. 
to confider arid chufe. 

3. Th'u'» by propofing what at pcefent muft 
teftablc, it not only obliges them, to an acceptance of .God's 
fervice, but to a plain and fuitable declaration .of their ar> 
horrence of the fervice of idols. This^effed we fee it bad 
upon them ; for they ufher in their anfwer with a God fir* 
bid ; which cxpreffeth a deteftation of the way. refufed. 

4.. This ferves to infinuate a fufpicifm of them, w hid* 
might oblige them to declare the mfclvc* with .more plain* 
neiis, and with more vehemency and concern ; which might 
be a (landing witnefs againft them and their pofterity, when 
it raying from God. Now, having opened this argument* 
we fhail next offer a few observations from it* and fog© on 
to the next part of the verfe, which is the. thing we defign 
to infift on. 

And, of many, ob.^rvations, we only offer the few following: 

t% Every 


1. Every man is obliged to ferve fame god. This the 
argument not only fuppofesi but infinuates as a thing tidi- 
culous, or fo abfurd, that it is not to be fuppofed, that any 
rational man can be guilty of leje&ing all gods : they u«ult 
ferve God or idols, 

2. The Lord binds no man to any thing but what is for 
his good 9 and what may, and will, upon due confide ration, 
appear to be for it. 

3. The Lord will have fuch as fcive him, to do it upon 
a rational conviction of the advantage of his fervice ; and 
therefore fays, If it feem evil unto you, go where ye may 
dp better. 

4* The Lord fears not the HTue of a fair deliberation, 
and the ferious conGderatibn and cbmparifion, both of what 
may be faid for him and againft him ; and therefore he bids 
them look if they could, upon a due confide ration, prefer 
idols to him. 

5., Such as look well to idols, will foon fee the folly of 
them. It is but look to them, and ye mud abhor them. 

6. To be fatisfied who is to be preferred, God or idols, 
requires no long time to deliberate; it is but look, and ye 
(hall be fatisGed, Cbufeye this day. ¥e may may be clear 
•on the point, fays he, this very moment, before ye leave 
thf fpot. . 

Thus far have we confidcred the argument. We have 
next Joihda's own refolution : But as fir me, and my houfe, 
*we will firve the Lord. 

This being that which we had the principal regard to 
in the choice of this text, we mall more particularly notice 
every thing in Jt. And, 

i« We have the. thing refolved upon, and that is the 
Lord's fervice; fervice, though it be fometimes more ftriclly 
taken in the fcripture, yet here it is, no doubt, to be taken 
.in its full latitude, for the whole of that obedience that 
the Lord Jehovah, who has the only indifpu table title to 
our obedience, requires. He is Lord ; and we are unirer* 
faliy in all things, in all refpecls, fubjeel to him, and there- 
fore obliged in all things to ferve him, to whom we are ac* 
countable. Whence by the bye, obferve, (i.)> God has 
an unqueftionable title to man's obedience ; he is the Lord, 
in a way of eminence, to whom obedience is due from all. 
Bba (2). 


{2) There is fomething engaging in God'* fervice, fuffic;- 
ens when known, to engage roan to make it his choice, 
nor\*ithflanding that ftrong inclination he has to command, 
and that eager defire he has of liberty. 

2. We have, in the words, the refolution itfelf : woenvill. 
There is no conftraint in it. It is our choice: not only do 
we look upon ic as our duty, that which we are bound to 
do, but we look on it as our privilege, and our will is let 
upon It as good. Whence we may again note, (i.) People 
fhoujd frrve the Lord willingly : this is a binding example? 
one approven of God, and propofed to our im it at fori. 
(2.) Such as know the Lord's fervice will make it their 

3. We have the perfcn by whom the refoluticn is taken> 
Jofhu.i, an old man, who had followed God through a wit- 
dernefs, and many trials; and Jofhua, a great man, a great 
gererah Here it mny be remarked, (1.) That a long trial 
of God's fori ice, even when attended with no (mall outward 
difadvantages, will not make any forego it, but rather eagagfc 
them to it. (2.) It derogates nothing from the character ol 
the greateft to fcrve the Lord. (3.) As the head of a family 
may prevail much upon thefe in the family, fo his whole in- 
tercft in them, and influence on them, whether children or 
fcrvants, ought to be employed irv order to engage them to* 
ierve the Lord. 

4 We hare in the words the firmnefsof tke refolution in. 
(iaaated, partly in the declaration of it, and partly in the 
adverfative particle but: But as for me y and my hmtfi, nve- 
<wiil fcr-j; the Lctd* But as for me, this form of ex pre fling 
it feems to import thefe three things- (j..) That he him- 
fclf had confldered the matter ferioufly, (2.) That he was 
come to a firm refolution. (3.) That whatever way their 
choice fhouM fall, it would have no influence upon him, to 
alter him. Whence obferve, (1.) Acquaintance with God 
fixes people immoveably in his way. (2.) Such as do in 
earneit engage in God's way, from their own acquaintance 
with it, will not depend upon others in their resolutions. 

5. In the words, we have the extent of his refolution : 
Js for me and my honfe ; which imports, we conceive, 
(1.) A defire of the people's engaging to do fo, and is as 
much as if he had faid, I would have you refolve upon it ;. 
and were ye as much under my influence as my houfe is, I 


Tl-'E CHRISTIAN'! &UTY, <i 9§ 

would life roy utmoft in te reft to perfuade yon. (2.) A di- 
rect declaration of his own refolution to keep firm to God's 
fervice. [$.} An engagement to improve his utmoft in* 
tereft> whether by authority, perfuatlon or example, to en*, 
gage all his own family to follow the Lord ; as if he had: 
said, if I cannot prevail with all whom 1 woold have en- 
gaged in the fervice ot God, yrt I (hall Kant none of 
thofe whom I may have aoy influence on. Whence ob- 
fervr, (x.) Real religion will make men careful that they 
themfelves ferve the Lord. (2.) It will not reft there, but 
will lead us to do our utmoft for engaging others. 

6. We have in the words, the order; he firft fpeaks of 
himfelf, and then his family : whence we may note, ( i») True 
religion looks firft inward to a man's felf. (2.) Where a 
man is- right engaged himfelf, he will ufc his utmoft en* 
deavodrs to have his family engaged alfo in the fervice 
of, God. . 

J Nowi the defign of this refolution, we may from the 
whole fee, is to enforce the duty exhorted to in the former 
verfe'i and it has a confide rable influence this way. 

U In that it fpeaks the thoughts of a wife man to favour 
the way of God* 

2. it contains the thoughts of a dying wife man in fa* 
▼our of God's fervice; and, finally, of one that they flood 
under many ties to have a fpecial regard to. 

We defign not to difcourfe all thefe truths ; we (hall 
therefore take op the fum of this rcfolution in three 
truths, which* if the Lord will, we defign at force length 
toiafift on, 

Docx. I. "Such as engage in the fervice of God, ought 
to do it deliberately, refolutely, and willingly." 

.Dx>ct. II* " True religion begins at home;" or, «« A 
man .rnuft be hi na felf a fervant of God, before he can en- 
gage others aright." 

l)ocj. IIL.V Where a man is himfclf engaged in the LqkI's 
fervice* he will endeavour to have his family engaged 

" aifo." 

The rife of thefe truths from the words, we mall not in* 
fift upon, becaufe it is fufHciently clear from what has al- 
ready been fa id in opening them. 

We (hall now begin with the firft of them, «' That ftrch 



as engage in the fervice of the Lord, ought to fervc hiai 

rcfolutely, deliberately, and willingly. 

That we ought to ferve the Lord, innumerable fori p. 
ture-precepti requiie, and even the light of nature teftify. 

And that we fhoald do ic deliberately and refolutely, our 
Lord, in the parable of the foolifh builder, who counts not 
the coft, Luke xiv. 28. plainly enough teacneth. 

Nor is it If fs plain, that willingnefs is required in order to 
acceptance, fince it deferves not the name of fervice that is 
conft rained. Where the will ii wanting, nothing can be 
accepted : and where this is, many imperfections will, not 
hinder acceptance, 2 Cor. viii. 12. For if there be a 
willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, 
and not according to that he hath not. 

But that we may further clear this truth, we (hall 9 ' 

I. Shew what it is to ferve the Lord. 

II. Shew what it is to do it deliberately, refolutely, and 
Willi agly. 

III. Wc (hall inquire, why we are obliged to fervc the 
Lord willingly* deliberately, and refolutely. 

IV. In anfwer to an objreiion that may be moved from 
the doclrine of faith in Chrift, as we have formerly preached 
ir, we (hall endeavour to (hew, what place there is for fuch 
fervice in the fecond covenant, and what neceffity of it even 
to believers. 

I. We are to begin with x\\tfrji of thefc : and, that wc 
may open unto you this head, we (hall comprife that ac- 
count we are to offer to the Lord's fervice in a few remaiks* 

1. Though, by the fervice of God, the fcripture meant 
many things, and ufes the cxpreffion in feveral fenfes, yet 
there aYe three things principally and mainly called the' fervice 
of God in the word. (1.) There is the folemn fe price of God 
in the dntie* of his worfhip ; fo we may understand bur 
' Lord's words 'to the tempter, Matth. iv. 10. " Thou (hah 
worihip the Lord thy God, and him only (halt thou 
fervc." (2.) There is the ordinary fervice of God, in the 
.courfe of our walk with him : Of this it is the apoltle fpeaks, 
Heb. xii. 28. " Let us have grace to ferve the Lotd with 
reverence and godly fear." And, (3.) Theic is the exrra- 
ojdinary fervice of God, in force no cable duiiefe called for 


THE CHRl5TTANu:mnX. ■ ^ 7 

of. fome perfons, in Tome fpccial feaforw; and from their 
compliance with thofb duties, they are aailed the fervants of 
the Lord : *nd thus Mofrs, Rev. xv. 3. ia called the fer- 
laat of God > in a way afeminency. They who got the 
viclory, are faid to " fing the fong of Mofes, the fervant 
of the Lord, and the fong of the Lamb." All thefe three 
fignifications are here intended, at lead mm- of .them can 
be focjuded. We muft fer\e die Lord in the duties of hit 
wo r (hip, in the; whole eourfe of our walk, endeavouring to 
do always, the things that . pleafc him; and when called to 
axtfawdiftuy duties* we rac& not decline them. 
.-*• These are three things) ce qui fue to fit a man to ferve 
the Lord* .or to do- any thing that can juftly challenge that 
same. Men ate not naturally fit io? the Lord's fer vice ? 
and they fjar jniftake it, w,ho think- that they may, juft when 
they plcafe, 1 put thsir hand to th£ Lord's work, and. do it 
fight* . Nay, he/ore ever, we can .do any thing that God 
wiH pwjk as Ye iy ice, w« DMjft K (1,) Give up with cut old 
mafteriv: We are all by nature the fervanta of Satan and 
Co * ". for their fervants* we are to whom we obey, whether 
tf ; .£n- s iinto. death* or of obedience unto righteoufnefs," 
Rem. vi« r£> -And no lefs fure it is, that we all natu- 
*ajly feitc*fld -obey divers lufta : but now wexnuft renounce 
ifcefev -before we :ferve the Lord ; ibr we are allured* that 
ihcje; is «o Serving, two matters. The Lord will not halve 
k with finj.Mfttthi vi, 24. " No man can ferve two m af- 
ters r for either Jie will hate the one, and love the other, 
or.ejfe he will hold to the one and def pile the other: 
ye cmgot ferve God and mamiuon/' And, 1 affare you* 
this is no eafy mat ter to get a (inner and his okl ra after 
felrly parted; no ltfs than the mighty power at Gcd can do 
it. Sometimes there may be outcafts, but matters arc quick* 
ly made up betwixt them, and all agreed again, until God 
himfclf etteclnally perfuade to a Reparation. (2.) There 
mult be a fair engaging to Chrift as our Mailer, We mull: 
accept of him for our Lord. A mailer will not allow one 
to come in, and pat his hand to his fer vice, tinlefs he fir ft 
covenant and engage to own him for his lord ; and this 
is no eaiy matter, to bring a (inner who is naturally an ene- 
my, .to came, this, length. To call Chrift L rd, is fame- 
thing fciore tlun to cefolve, under a convi&ion, to live bet* 
ter, and (ferve. the Lord i nay, it. is fomewhat more than* 


under fome work on .the fcffeltibns, to go to a coTr&r, antf 
fluke or write a perfonal covenant* I fear, pergonal cove* 
naming, however, good : and juiHfiable in itfelf, jet is far 
miftaken* and much abufed by fom?, while it is made a 
ground of hope by others, who never under flood what 
conversion meant, never were humbled, and taken off 
their own bottom, and engaged to the Lord by the power 
of his grace. If any man think this an eafy matter, to call 
Chrift Lord, he has never yet done it to-puirpofe* I am 
fare, the great apoftie thought is no seafy matter, but * 
thing fo far abavc the line of nature,- that the work of the* 
Holy Ghoft is required to bring us to it, i Cor* kii^. 
u Wherefore ( give you to underftand, that no man fpeak- 
ing by rhe Spiiic of God, calieth Jefus accurfed v'and that 
no man fay, that Jefus is the Lord,- bat by the Holy Ghoft.'* 
(-3.) Before any -can ferve God ^ he muft have a heart faited' 
to the work. The carnal man k not fubjeft to tha law of 
God, but oppofite to every duty* Before the fruit be good, 
the tree mud be good. It is one of the many mad attempts 
that a deceitful heart, and deceitful devil, put people upon y 
under con viflions, to fcrvc the Lord, in newnefs of life, with' 
old hearts: But they who have learned of Chrift, Mat th. vii. 
17. that the treemuftfirft be made good, before the fruit can- 
be fo, will know other things. Firft we muft be created 
in Chrift, and then we may walk in good works, Eph. ii. 10. 
Now, not one piece of fervice that is acceptable can an/ 
perform, without thefe three pre-requitites. • ■ 
. 3. That ye may underftand what it is to ferve the Lord, 
we (hall offer you this remark, that, before any piece of 
work performed by us can juftly challenge this honourable 
name of' fervice done to the Lord, it muft have thefe fix 

(1.) It muft be a thing commanded, otherwife it is fer- 
▼ing our own fancy, and not the Lord* The mailer's pre- 
cept is the meafure- of the Servant's obedience. We never 
rind the Lord approving any fordoing what he did not com- 
mand them ; nay, we find him, even when he has forbid 
things, rather challenging the doers, becaufe they did what 
he forbade, Jer. vii. 31. « They have built the high places 
of Topher, which is in the valley of the fonof Hinnom, to 
burn their fons and their daughters in the fire ; which I com- 
manded them not, neither came it into my heart," - Acd to 



the fame parpofe is chap, xix. 5. » Who hath required this 
at your hand/' will 00c day be the entertainment of fuch 
fervices as are done without a command. And there is one 
command that pots them all zo the door, Dent. xii. 32. 
< 4 What thing foever I command you, obferve to do it ; 
thou {halt not add thereto, hew dimlnifh trom it." 

(a.) There maft be 'a regard had to the authority oi the 
command in the doing* IF men fhall, upon finiftrous mo- 
tiyes, as very oft they may, do the things that are com- 
manded, God will not reckon this for fervice done to him : 
men who cannot pry into the Hearts of the doers, may ; but 
fuch deceits take not with God. It is not obedience, that 
is not done becaufe commanded. It is frequently repeated 
in the erection of the tabernacle, that everything was done 
" as the Lord commanded Mofes," Exod. xvi. 34. and xxiv. 
4. &c. and that to intimate* that Mofes in every ftep had 
his eye upon the command; and fo mould we, in every thing 
eye the command. 

(3 J Every duty, that it may be fenrice to God, muft be 
done in the name of Chrift: God will accept of no fervice 
but what is offered on this altar, Col. iii. 17. " And what- 
soever ye do in word or deed, do all inthe name of the Lord 
Jefus, giving thanks to God, and the Father by him-" In 
the name of Jefus is, [1.] By the command of 'Jefus, Matth. 
xvii. 20. Nothing, I am Aire* can bo done in his name, 
that has not the warrant of his command. {2.] In the name 
of Chrift, is' in the ftrengt-h received from Chrift, Luke x. 
17* It was the name of Chrift, that is, the power oF Chrift, 
that cured the lame man, Ads iv. io. : and it muft be this 
that muft enable us to do duty. [3.] In the name of Chrift, 
is in a dependence upon him for the acceptance of our fervice; 
for all out Sacrifices muft be offered upon this altar, which 
fanttifietli the gifts that are put on it. [4.] In the name of 
Chrift, is to the glory of Chrift. Nor will any fervice be 
accepted that runs not in this channel. 

(4.) Every piece of fervice, that God will own as fuch 
rouft be done in faith : «« For without faith it is impoffible 
to pleafe God ; for whatever is not of faith is fin." Now, 
faith looks at the promife as its only fecurity, both for 
through -bearing, acceptance, and reward. 

(5.) Service muft be done in the manner that is required* 
It is not enough that the thing be done, but it muft be done 


in the rnatiner'thatis commanded ; for even this; comes in as 
a part of the command, PfaL cxix. 4. " Thou haft com* 
manded 01 to keep thy precepts diligently." 

(6.) Service rnuft be done in the proper time. God ha* 
filled up our time with work, and every duty has its own* 
time, and we muft do. every thing in. its feaforw w Every 
thing it beautiful in its feafon;" and, " to-day, if yt will 
hear his voice." If the command 'be,, to. day* obedience to* 
morrow will not anfvverir. If any of theic be wanting, 
then God will own no doty as fcr vice done, to him. 

4. To add no more, we oilb'r this one remark, for clearing 
what is meant by the Lord's fervice; and that is, that one 
may be called a fetvant of the Lord, or claim this title, it 
is net enough to do fome one piece of commanded duty 4 
nay, nor is not enough to multiply dotes* But, (1.) There 
jnuft be an equal refpect unto all God'b commands :; "Then 
(hall I not be a foamed when I have refpedt unto all thy 
commands," fays the Pulmift, Pial. cxix. 6« The heart 
muft be . reconciled to all, and .count them to be right con- 
cerning all thiugft (a.) There mult be fixed benfaal of will 
towards a compliance with them alL A fervant mult have 
it to fay, with the apoftle, Heb. xiii. 18. « that he it 
in all things willing co-lire honeftly." And, {3.) Therernuft 
be a conftant : and : permanent endeavour to comply with 
them. Wemuft * fhew the fame diligence to.the fall af* 
Xurance of hope unfa-the-end," Heb, vi»n. ■ And furely 
if thefe few things we*e duly- weighed, moll who have hi* 
therto looked upon themfelves as good fervants, would be- 
gin to be jealous of themfelves, as miftaken in this matter* 

II. We are next to (hew you what this dtliberuthv* refo* 
Julian, and luillingwefs is, which ought to accompany an en« 
jragetnent in the- Lord's fervice. As for the 

Firft of them, deliberation, we (hall open its* nature in the 
few following oi?ferva?ions> in as far as it refpefts our pre* 
fent purpofe. That what we do in matters of great moment* 
ought to be done deliberately, is what none will deny ; and 
therefore none can queftion the neceffity of acting deliberate* 
ly, when we engage ourfelves to the fervice of God. Only 
fome may be at a ftand concerning the meaning of it, .which 
we (hall endeavour to open. 

(1.) When we fay that men (hould engage in the fervice 

of the Lord deliberately, we do not mean, that they. (hould 

* take 


take a Ling* or indeed any time, to confide r, before they 
do engage in the fervice of God, whether they (hall do ic 
or not* This is only requifite in cafes where it is hard to 
difcern what is advifeable* and where duty doth not oblige 
to do any thing prefently* without lofs of time. Here all 
things are quite otherwife : we are born under an obligation 
to ferve the Lord ; and the reafonablencfs* as well as ad. 
vantage of it* are fo obvious* that to be ignorant of them* 
is to be culpably blind* Nor* 

( a.) Doth this deliberation import any doubt or he fit at ion * 
whether we may do better elfewhere : this were wicked and 
highly faulty. But, 

(3.) To engage in the Lord's fervice deliberately; is to 
engage upon knowledge of that fervice* which we devote 
onrfeives to* It is the fin* the folly of many, efpecially, 
when foroe way convinced of fin, aod the bitter iflue of 
irsiervice* that prefently they refolve they will ferve the 
Lord ; but in the mean time they know not what it is to 
ferve the Lord* either as to matter or manner. Mod part 
think* that to ferve the Lord is only to perform fome of the 
external duties of religion, and that without refpelt to any 
of thofe circuroftanccs we have mentioned. But all ought 
to know who are in cafe to ferve the Lord* what fervice he 
requires* what way he will have it done; and all the parti, 
cuius mentioned formerly* when treating of the firft general 
head* for explication of this truth. 

(4.) That one may be juftly faid to have been deliberate 
in this undertaking ; it is neceffary that ho know fo much 
of his obligation, both by duty and intereft* to undertake 
this fervice, that nothing that may afterwards fall in his 
way may be able to make him think he has acted crofs* 
either to duty or intereft* in the undertaking, or that he 
might have employed himfelf to more advantage otherwife* 

(5.1 A man that engages deliberately* will look to all 
the difad vantages* real or feeming* that attend this under- 
taking* aod know when he engages, that the advantages 
will outweigh the disadvantages. And* 

(6.) A man that engages deliberately* will know that 
what he engages in is practicable* and how it may be done* 
Upon the whole* to engage in the Lord's fervice deliber- 
ately* is to do ir* after we a ^acquainted with the nature of 
the work* and have fo much knowledge of the advantage 
C c and 


i-nd pracYicablenefs of the undertaking, that nothing tlis 

falls in or may occur afterward, may be able either 1 

make us repent eur undertaking, or quit it as impracl 


Some know not the fervice they bind themfelves tc, ar 
therefore engage rafbly ; and when they come to unde 
(land it, they find it not fuited te their expectation, at 
therefore they quit it. Some know not the advantage » 
it, and therefore when the fervice of fin feemsto bid faire 
fiev rue trreir bargain ; others look not at fume feemin 
difadvantag-s that attend the fervice of the Lord, an 
therefore they b?gin upon fight cf them to wifli they h J 
r.ot engaged in it : the Pfalmift came near to this, Pfa 
Ixxxiii. 13. And, in a word, fome bind themfelve 
without ever thinking what ftrength the work require 
and where it is to be got ; and after experience tells then 
it requires more than they have, they are fain to quit it 
hut deliberation prevents all thefe. And thus much ft 

idly. We muft engage ia the fervice of God refglutel) 
that is, 

(1.) We mud lay our account with difficulties, not i 
deed from the ftrvice itfelf, for the Lord's '« yoke 
rafy, and his burden light ;" but from our own ccrru 
tlon, and enemies that oppofe us in the undertakin 
Every one that puts his haui to the Lord's work, mu 
lay his account with 6ghiin£, as well as working :"1 
Biuft be like the builders upon the wall of Jeruffclet 
Neh. iv. 17. work with one hand, and hold a weapc 
with the other. ". . 

(2.) To engage refolutejy, is to refolve not to quit ll 
work upon the account of difficulties, or fay with tJ 
Huggard, u There is a lion in the way., and 1 (hall 
flain in the ftreets ;*' but to hazard all, and fo furmou 
thefe difficulties., or die in the quarrel. 

(3.) To engage refolutely in the Lord's fervice, is 1 
do it upon a conviction, that we are not at liberty, upc 
the account ef any real or feeming difficulty, to quit il 
but that of neceflity, we nauft not only engage, but in t 
•Lcrd*i ftrength we muft, in fpite of all difficulties, pert 
vere to the e:iJ. But nox, 

jtyt This is not all ; but further we muft enga 



vfliinglj in God's fervice. Some do ferve, but the want 
of this fpoils all. Now this williugnefe, 

(i.) Excludes conftraint. We muiw not, like the fhve 
that's bound, engage in the work for fear of the whip* 
Some multipfy performances ; others ferioufly, as the/ 
think, o rider awakenings of confcience, or ficknefs, re- 
folve to ferve the Lord ; ay, but it is only fear, either 
of hell, or the laihes of confcience, that obliges them to 
it, crofs their inclination : take thefe out of the way, and 
they would not ferve the Lord. 

(a.) WHlingnefs excludes felfifh regards, fuch as only 
eye the advantageous confluences of God's fervice. 
Some ferve the Lord, like Jehu, becaufe they fee it makes 
at prefent for their intereft ; but if it were not fo, they 
would a& otherwife ; and fonie, out of hopes to get hea- 
ven for their fervice, do the fame. Bnt this will not do v 
this is indeed a fort of conftraint ; for, could the fervice 
and its conferences be parted, the fervice would not be 

- {3.) Willingnefs imports a liking of the fervice, as well 
as the coofequences, a fuitablenef* in the will to the fer- 
vice, which makes even the fervice itfelf the object of 
aur choice, and makes it r even when the confequences 
are not eyed, appear agreeable and pleaimg ; and this can 
never be where the heart is not renewed ; for " tie car- 
nal mind is enmity asa'mft God, is not fubjtcl to the law of 
God, neither indeed can bc,**Roixi. vili. 7. And therefore,- 
till a day of God's power change the heart of man, and 
create him in Chrift Jefus to good works, there is no poUi*- 
bility of engaging willingly in the fervice of God 

III. We are now come to offer fome reafons why we 
fiiou Id engage in the fervice of God, deliberately, refo- 
lutely, and of choice. Of many we name a few. 

1. It is fuitable to the rational nature 1 for we debafe 
ourfelves, and act not like rational men, if we aft not re- 
filutely, deliberately, and willingly, in a matter efpeci. 
ally of fo great moment. Not to ad* deliberately, fpeak9 
as foolifli ; not to aft refolutely, fpe«ks us weak * not to 
act willingly, fpeaksus flaves. 

2. The nature and honour of God makes fuch fervice 
neceflary. That fervice which is unbecoming a rational 
nature, cannot furtly be acceptable to God, who is the 


higheft reafon. What is reproachful to the nature of man 
to perform, lrnift fnrely be fo to the nature of God to 
accept. If man cannot ad in deliberately, irrefolutely, 
or unwillingly, without reproaching his nature, furely 
the holy God cannot accept of what is fo done, without 
reproaching his own ; and if it be difhonourable for man 
to perform fuch fervice, as is not the fruit of deliberation, 
choice, and refolution, furely it is alfo difhonourable for 
God to accept it. 

3. The nature of the fenrice requires it ; for it is cal- 
led, Rom. xii. 1. " Our reasonable fervice." It is fo 
by way of eminence ; and furely, without thofe three 
properties mentioned, it cannot deferve that name. 

4. Unlefs it be done thus, we are not like to continue 
in it ; and this will be both difhonourable, and difad- 
vantageous. What is ralhly undertaken, is ufually 
quickly given over ; what is irrefolutely engaged in, is 
eafily hindered ; and what is the fruit of conftraint, can* 
not be permanent : and this fpoils all ; for unlefs it be 
continued in f we lofe what we have wrought, aad all 
the length we have gone will not be remembered, Ezek. 
xviii. 24. 4 * When the righteous turneth away from hi* 
righteoufnefs, and coromitteth iniquity, and doth accor- 
ding to all the abominations that the wicked man doth, 
fhali he live? All his righteoufnefs that he hath done, 
fhall not be mentioned ; in his trefpafs that he hath tret 
pafled, and in his fin that he bath finned, in thetn fhall he 
die." " * 

IV. The only thing remaining* is to ffiew what place 
now, under the gofpel difpenfation, is left for this fer- 
vice ; and that in anfwer to a common objection that is 
made againfl it, upon fuppofition of admitting the doctrine 
of faith, may fome fay, u If we believe, what ye not long 
ago taught, that we are to be juftified only by faith, then 
what need of ferving the Lord ? what need of holinefs i 
If the obedience of another muft be our righteoufnefs be* 
fore God, we may fpare oar pains ; there is no need that 
we obey." 

This objection is old indeed, and I may fay it is new 
alfo. It is one of the many artifices that the enemies of the 
grace of God have made ufe of for difcrcditing the jnfli- 
ficatlon of flnners before God, by the imputed righteouf* 



nefs of Chrift ; and at this day, it is mightily urged by 
Papifts, Socinians, and efpecially Arminians, who fwarnn 
in thefe lands ; and therefore, before we come to anfwer 
it, we have two or three things to fa/ in reference to 
it. And, 

I. We do indeed confefs, that any doctrine that has 
not a favourable afpe& upon holinefs, is to be fufpected ; 
and we do profefs ourfelves willing that our doctrines 
ihaJl be tried by their influence upon holinefs : and fur- 
ther,, we- do folemnly proteft, that as foon as the charge 
laid againft the doctrine of faith (hall be fairly proven, 
we (hall abandon it. But, 

a. We ard not refolved to quit it, becaufe fome men, 
whofe lives -and pens fmell not over much of holinefs, are 
pleaied to allege, that it favours not holinefs. 

3. We ,muft fay v it feems very hard to allege, that 
Calvin's doctrine of juit'rfication is an enemy to holinefs 
while the oppofcrs and enemies of this doctrine, at the 
fame time, nickname the maintained of it, Puritans, Pr«« 
cifians, and I know not what* becaufe they will not take 
fo great a latitude in their practice as t hem fe Ives ; nay,, 
frequently, becaufe they cannot get their walk condemn* 
ed, they pa f9 a judgment upon their hearts, .and ufurp \ 
God's prerogative*- calling them hypocrites. 

4* We hope to (hew fuificient reafon for holjnef*, and 
to give it a very ufeful room, though we allow it npt 
that place which .is due to the righteoulnefs of the Lord < 
Jefus Chrift; 

What pi ace, ..will you fay, > has it ? of what life is it? li 
anfwer by lhewing,. 
.1/?, What place it has not :.and we fay, 

(1.) It is of no ufe in order to merit any thing, either- 
ill time or eternity, at the hand of God ; it cannot 
.flferit or defervethe lead temporal blcfling ; far^lefs can it 
deferve heaven* and thofe -glorious fpiritual privileges 
that are there enjoyed :; u What can a man be profitable 
unto God, as he that he is wife may be profitable unto 
. hitnfeif ? Is it any. pleafure to the Almighty that thou 
art righteous ? Or is it gain to him that thou,makeft thy 
ways perfect ? w Job xxii. a, 3. ? " li thou be righteous, , 
what giv eft thou him? or what receiveth he of thine 
hand ?. Thy wicked nefs may hurt a man as ifrou art, and . 


thy rigMeoofnefs may profit the ion of maji," Job sxxv. 
7, 8. Our goodntfs extends not to him, and therefore it 
becomes us when we have done all, to own that we are 
unprofitable fervants. 

(2.) Our fervice we do to the Lord, Is not that upon 
the account whereof we are juftifitd before God. When 
we ftand at the tribunal of God, to be tried for oar life, 
our plea muft not be, Lord, we have ferved thee according 
to thy law; thia will ftand us iu no (lead, u for by the 
works of the law will no flelh be juftified," Gal. ii. 16. 
Our fervice, if weighed in the balance of the fan&uary, 
will be found wanting. 

(3.) Our fervice will not be fo much as a part of that 
righteoufnefs, upon the account whereof we are tobejnf- 
tiiied before God. Chrift will not halve the matter (c s 
either he will be our entire righteoufnefs, or not at all. 
He will not compound the matter, for fo we {hould have 
fo me what to boafl of, and (hould not glory only in the 

(4.) Sincere fervice, by the gracious acceptance of God, 
is not put in that fame place, under the covenant of 
grace, which perfect obedience had in the covenant of 
works. This is contrary to the whole tenor of the fc rip- 
turf. But what need, will ye fay, can there be of this 
fervice, fince it is not allowed to have any part in our 
juftification? We anfwer by (hewing, 

%dly y And pofitively, That *rt is of very great life, and 
there is an indifpenfabit neceffity of it ; and that, 

(1.) Upon the account of the command of God. Now, 
this binds dill, and would have bound, though there had 
been no reward annexed to it; and this is ftill in force, 
for " this is the will of God, even our fantVificatlon," 
1 Thef. iv. 3. 

(2 ) It is indifpenfably neceflary, in regard of the be. 
liever's voluntary engagement to it. When faith once 
gets a view of Chrift, it fays to him, as Thomas did upon 
another occafion, * 4 My Lord, and my God;" and if once 
we call Chrift Lord, we thereby bind ourfelves to be his 

(3.) It is neceflary from the new nature, regeneration. 
Believers are «* created in Chrift Jefns to good works," 
Eph. ii. icv They art born again; they are partakers ef 



the divine nature. Now, our Lord aftarei u?, that t good 
tree cannot bring forth bad frait. Know, " whofoc ver 
is bora of God finneth not," John v. 18. It is as natu- 
ral for the new man to be holy, as for the old man to be. 

(4.) It is the oacceffary refult of thefe principal gracej 
of the new creature, viz. lore and gratitude* Hear the 
great apoftle Paul, a Cor. v. 14, 15. u The love, of Chrift 
conftraineth us, becaufe wc thus judge, that if one died 
for all, then were all dead ; and that he died for all, that 
they which live fliould not henceforth live, onto them- 
felves, but unto him who died for them, and rofe again*?* 
(5.) It is receflary that we ferve the Lord, in order to 
obtain the great ends which ail believers do propofe to 
jthenfeWes; as, 1. It is the way to glorify the Lord, which 
is certainly the belrevers main end ; and hereby certainly 
is God glorified, if we bring forth much fruit. Hence 
that exhortation, u Let your light fo fhine before men, 
that they may fee your good works, and glorify your Fa- 
ther which is in heaven," Matth, v. 16. Again, 2. It is 
the way to be made meet for the enjoyment of God, which 
the believer aims at as one of his principal and moft no* 
ble defigns. Now, the more we abound in tht fervice of 
God, the more meet we are for the enjoyment of God, 
.who is of purer eyes than to keep up communion with 
lhofe who are not holy. Juflitication is neceflary to give 
-us a right nmo the enjoyment of God, and communion 
with him. Sanctirication is neceflary to make us meet for 
,the actual enjoyment of it. Again, 3. To ferve the Lord t 
to be holy, is the way to perfect our natures, and to bring 
them to the higbeft pitch of perfection they are capable of. 
This is our wifdom and under (landing, Deut. iv. 6. and con- 
fequently our glory and honour to ferve the Lord. Farther, 
4. To ferve the Lord, is the way to be ufeful to others. 
And thi3 is one of the believer's great defigns, and it is 
gained by this ; for this is profitable, both for their con- 
viction and converfion ; nay, and many other ways not 
now to be infilled upon. 

(6.) It is neceflary that believers ferve the Lord, in re- 
gard of the great provifion that the Lord has made for 
• them under the gofpel, in order to fit them for this fer- 
vice; there is an abundant provision of grace to enable 



them to fcrvc God acceptably, with reverence and godly 
fear. Now, upon tbefe accounts, ye may fee how necef- 
fary it is that we ferre the Lord, though we are not to 
be joftified by our fervice. And not a few other no lefs 
confiderable grounds of obedience, under the New Te£» 
tament difpenfation, might be mentioned, were it not that 
we haften to the application,, which now follows. 

It now remains that we apply this truth ?. and we fhall^ 
in the firft place,, draw forae general inferences, for in* 
formation from the words. Is it fo, that they who en* 
gage in the fervice of God, fliould do it of choice, refo* 
lutely, and deliberately ? Then, 

i. It is not fo eafy a thing to engage in the fervice of 
God, as forae may think, to get the will of man, that is 
obftinately. fet againft God, brought to a* compliance with 
his will in all things, is very hard :. " The carnal mind ia 
not f object to the law of God, nor indeed can be."' And 
O what a mighty difficulty is it, do ye think, to do thb 
after a deliberate view of all the difficulties of this fer- 
vice, and a difcovery of its oppofition to corrupt nature > 
Such of you as thinlc it eafy. to engage in the fervice of 
the Lord, are ytt to begin* 

2. No unregenerate man is aright engaged in God's 
fervice;. for no unregenerate man, after a- deliberate 
view there»f, and the confequence of it, will engage, 
or can engage in it; and therefore, Sirs, think upon it 
fcrioufly, if je be not born again, ye are not yet fcr- 
▼ants of God; 

3. We may draw th>» conclufion from the doctrine, 
that God has no mind to cheat his fervants. Ail the plot 
of Satan and- Cm is to get people engaged before they, 
think: for if they think, they defpair of carrying their 
point : but God-will have us deliberate. It is Ihe peculiar 
glory of man, that he is capable of confidering what he 
doth before he do it,, and that he can weigh all the cir- 
cumftances of a&ions ; but profane tinners dare not do fo ; 
they dare not go alone, and con fide r what were the mo- 
tives prompting them to what they did, what way the/ 
will make their account to God, what they have to ex- 
pect after this life is done. To think of thefe things and 
the like, would make them mad i but the godly can go 
alone, and.. look to his whole aclions., and do it without 

fear ; : 


/fear; and can look to nil things paft, prefeht, and to 
come, without difcompofurc ; and then he chufes the fer- 
vice of God ; be does it deliberately : the Lord will have 
him to do fo> and therefore he knows he is not circum- 

4. We may infer, that there is a vaft oJds betwixt 
the fcrvice of God, and the fervice of fin. We cannot 
become God's fervants without acVing like men, afting ra- 
tionally, deliberately, and refolutely: but, on the other 
hand, there is none can engage, or continue in the fer- 
vice of (in, but he mud lay afide the exercife of reafon, 
and ad like a beaft. 

Did we not defign brevity, we might improve this doc* 
trine many other ways than for information, now difeuf- 
fed, yiz. for trial, reproof, conviction, and caution. But 
We (hall wave all thefe, and only infift upon exhortation* 

If it fo, that we fliould not only engage in the fervict 
of God, but that we fliould do it deliberately, refolutely, 
willingly? Then, my friends, we intreat, and, in thefea r" 
of the Lord, exhort you all this day, to make choiee o f 
the Lord for your God and Matter, and cheerfully, refo» 
lately, and deliberately, engage yourfelves in his Cervices 
and, with the people of Ifrael, fay, and hold by it, We 
witt/erve the Lord. This exhortation comprifes the whole 
of our commilfion from the eternal God to yon. If we 
prevail not in thij, we gain nothing, nor can we do yen 
any fervice, nor can you do us any real kindnefs. If we 
prevail not in this, then ye are for ever ruined, and we 
have loft our labour as to you, your damnation is fare; 
the gofpel will aggravate your fin, accent your mifery, 
and we fhall be witnefies againft you: furely, therefore, 
it is of moment, and worthy of ferioas con fide rat ion, 
what ye will anfwer, what ye refolve to do. Inftead of 
many motives I might ufe on this occafion, we (hall an- 
fwer fome queftions that will readily call up in the minds 
of fuch among you as entertain any ferious thoughts 
about the matter; and, in the anfwers to them, we fliall 
couch motives fufficient, if the Lord breathe upon them* 
to perfuade the moft obftrnate enemies; and, if the Lord 
breathe not, nothing will be able to effeAuate this. 

Theire are fix queftions will readily employ the thoughts 
of fuch as are in earned about this matter, x. Who is 


the Lord, that we fliould fcrvc him ? 2. Will he accept of 
fervice at our hand ? 3. Upon what terms will he admit of 
us? 4. What work will he employ us in ? 5. Whom fliall 
we be join;d withal? 6. What wafes will he allow? Thefe 
are the moft material concerns of one that means to lift 
himfelf a fervant ; if he get a fatisfying anfwer upon all 
thefe headi, he muft engage. Now, of each of thefe in 
order ; ar.d, 

i/7, Some of you will think, Who is the Lordy that we 
flimld jtrve him? We know him not » and we would fain 
be forue way acqu&int with him before we engage, at lea(t 
ws would know who he is. 

For anfwer to this, we fay, It is very reafonable that 
ye know him, to whom ye fubmit yourfelves, before ye 
do it; and would to G)d this method had been {till fol- 
lowed by you, and then I am fure Satan had not this day 
fo many fervants, nor Chrift fo many enemies. Wc can- 
not pretend to tell what God is ; for uone can fearch out 
the Almighty to perfection-. But only we (hill tell you t 
he has all the qualification! of a matter that a fervant that 
is wife could wifh. 

1. He is^razr, whom we call you to ferve. Moft kings 
on earth are but flaves ; and to ferve mod of them, is but 
to ferve them who are flaves to the bafeft of lufts : Bat 
" the Lord is a great God, and a great King, even the 
King eternal, immortal, and invifible, the high and only 
Potentate, the Prince of the kings of the earth." None 
nny compare with him for the excellency of his perfon. 
Thus fiirh the Lord, Ifa. xliy. 8. " Is there a God befides 
we ? yea, there is no GoJ, I know not any." None is 
equal to him in the magnificence of his habitation. u The 
heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footftool," 
faith the Lord, Ifa. lxvi. 1. None equal to him in wif- 
dom 1 be is the " only wife God." And as for power, 
who can compare? For u what pleafed the Lord, that 
hath he done in heaven, and in earth, and in all high pla- 
ces." And, in a word, he is; the only Maftcr, and all ar< 
his fervants. 

. Z. As he is great and honourable, fo he Ugood. 4i The 
Lord is good and upright," Pfal. xxv. 8. and in othei 
places of fcripture innumerable. The . goodnefs that 1 
{errant would defire in a mailer, lies 10 three things, anc 



they are all eminently in God ; he is peerlefs in them 
all. (i.) He is a good Matter, that puts his fervants up- 
on ho work but what is fuitable and reafonable. (2.) Who 
for (lows upon them, when careful, vail largtnV, or great 
proofs of his bounty. And, (3.) Who is indnlgenr, 
companionate, and merciful to the failings (f his ft rvai.ts, 
when they do not willingly commit ftults, nor obftinate- 
l'y perfift in them. And in thefe three refpecls the Lord 
is mat chiefs. 

• That his work is eafy, we (hall afterwards (hew at more 
length: at prefent it is enough to tell, that he who can- 
not lie or miftake, has told ns, that ** his yoke is eafy, 
and his burden light. " And who knows not his bounty? 
who feels not the eifetls of it ? His bounty is great a- 
bove the heavens, and all (hare largely in it ; for what- 
ever there is of goodnefs and mercy in the lot of any, 
that is the fruit of his bounty. But, befides the common 
effects of itj he has particular favours he beftows upon 
iuch as are eminently faithfuL Look what marks of h's 
refpecl, and what glorious tokens of his bounty, Abra- 
ham, Ifaac, Jacob, Mofes, Jc/ihua, David, and the reft 
got, and that both in fpirituals and temporals. * Nor is 
his mercy l«fs to them that fear him, becanfe of their in- 
fir mi tie 5. Though he has taken all imaginable care to 
caution his people again ft fin, yet he will net narrowly 
mark iniquity with them, nor enter into judgment. 
" Little children, thefe things write I to you, that ye 
fin not: but if any man fin, we have an advocate with 
the Father," -1 John ii. -1. The covenant of grace is not 
behind with the covenant of works, in forbidding fin, and 
providing againft it ; the whole of rt was revealed, preach- 
ed, and written, that wefin not : but this is {he peculiar 
glory of the gofpel, that while the law leaves /inner s 
finking under the curfe, the gofpel fends and relieves them, 
.and (hews that there is " an Advocate with the Father. 5 * 
3. The Lord is a faithful God c what bargain he 
wakes, he will keep. Has he promifed you a great re- 
ward ? ye may depend upon it : c< He is not a man, that 
lie (hould lie, or thefon of man that he fbould repent," 
If he make himfelf known to you "by the name of God 
Almighty, as he did to Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, fee 
j£xod. vi. 2. to nsake them believe that what he pro- 


mi fed he wn able to perform, 1 attire you, be will not 
fail to make himfelf known to you alfo, as Jehovah God, 
that gives a being to his promife; as he did to Mofes 9 
when he called him to fee the accompHfhment of the pro- 
mi fes made to Abraham, in the deliverance of his people 
out of Egypt. But, being fctisfed that the Mailer is wor- 
thy beyond compare, the 

%d Queftion will follow, Will he accept ofut for fir* 
rants? A queftion truly not impertinent, after the former 
anfwer ; for it is no wonder though any that knows God 9 
or knows himfclf, doubt whether he fhall be admitted a 
fervant of the Lord ; and they that never faw any difficul- 
ty here, we fear not to tell them, that they ferve an ill 
matter to this very day, .even the god of this world,, the 
Spirit that works in the children of di (obedience. But to 
the queftion we fay, 

i. The Lord has taken fome fervants, and owned them 
as fuch, even out of the race of fallen man. We hear 
him fpeak of his fervant Abraham, his fervant Mofes, and 
David ; and that is encouragement to thee : men they 
were, (infill msn they were; and even the father of the 
faithful, Abraham, was an idolater* 

2. The Lord wants neither work nor wagei for you s 
the work he gives his fervants is even to {hew forth his 
glory ; and this is enough to employ innumerable millions 
more than have any being. And hence it is, that his fer- 
vants many times find the work too great for them, and 
therefore call on all the creatures, to praife the Lord. So 
we find the Pfalroift calling upon fire, hail, fnow, va- 
pours, &c. to praife the Lord, Pfal. cxlviii. ; and he 
concludes the book of Pfalms thus: u Let every thing 
that , hath breath praife the Lord: Praife ye the Lord,' 9 
Pfal. cl. 6. Nor is there any fcarcity of wages : as he 
has work for you, fo his trea Cures are inexhauftible ; there 
is no want of any good thing to them that fear him, for 
in him dwells all fulnefs. 

3. We have this more to fay for your encouragement, 
he will not caft at or reject you becaufe you are tinners* 
Hear what fuch an one, a finner, a great fmner, has to 
fpeak to this purpofr, 1 Tim. i. 12. * k 1 thank Chrift 
Jefus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted 
me faithful, putting me into the miniftry, who was before 

a blaf- 


a .blafphemcr, and a perfecutor, and injurious."* See a 
fiuner made a fervant, and out of the fir ft rank made a 
prime minifter* 

4. We have this further to anfwer f he calls you to his 
fervice ; be then of good conrage ; arife, for the Matter 
calls thee. Matth. xi. 29. i( Take my yoke upon you," 
fays our Lord : there is an invitation. The encourage- 
ment follows* " And ye {hall find reft to your fouls." 
And the reafoo is fubjoined, " for ray yoke is eafy, and 
my burden light. 9 ' 

3-aVy, Ye may next inquire, Upon what terms 7 I fee he 
will admit me ; but, may be, the terms are too high. Nay, 
this (hall not hinder, if ye have a mind ; for there is 
nothing more engaging and reafonable than they are. 
And I (hall fliortly lay before you thefe fix particulars* 
as the terms whereon he will admit you. 

1. Ye mn ft renounce your old matters. Ye cannot 
ferve two matters ; and therefore, if ye chufe the Lord, 
ye mutt abandon the gods whom your fathers ferved on 
the other fide the. flood, and the gods of the Canaanites, 
among whom ye dwell; that is, in plain terms, Ye mutt 
sot fenre Satan, ye mutt not ferve divers lufts, ye mutt 
not ferve the world, ye mutt not (erve men 9 all other 
matters you mutt- for fake, for " ye cannot ferve God and 
mammon." And fure this is no hard condition, but what 
every fervant mutt lay his account with; and none have 
reafon to do it with fo much cheerful nefs as they who 
quit fin. 

2. Ye mutt be reconciled to him upon t he- gofpel- terms. -A 
matter will not admit his enemy to his family as a ferrant : 
who would keep in his houfe one that has a formed defigu 
to ruin him? Reafonable it is, then, to thehighett degree, 
that before ye be admitted to the family, ye lay down the 
enmity that your hearts are naturally full of againtt God, 
and be reconciled upon the terms prefcribed in the gof- 
pel, which are; comprifed by the apoftleto thePhilippians 
in two words, u Having no confidence in the ftefh," and 
4i rejoicing in Chrift Jefus ;" which are indeed equivalent 
to other two words made ufe of by our Lord, " Deny 
himfelf, and follow roe." " If any man will come after 
me, let him deny himfelf, and follow me." For wbat he 

Dd adds 


adds about taking up the croft, is included in the latter 
words, " Follow me." ■ And of the fame force are the firft 
two words mentioned, Phil. iii. 3. " We are the circuroci* 
fion which worlhip God in the fpirit, rejoice in Chrift Je- 
fu?, and have no confidence in the flefti." Here fhortry 
are the gofpel-terms as to acceptance with God, and jof- 
tihcation before him; there mod be no confidence in the 
tlefh, no ex»»ec^ation thence. But what is that, the flefh, 
ve will fay, on which we are not to icfli in which *e are to 
have no confidence ? I will tell you forne things called fo 
hv *.Iie apoftle, in the following verfesof that third chapter 
.tv) ihe Philippians. 

(\.) He calls church privileges fo, external privileges: 
." Circumcifed the eighth day ;" that is to fay, it it not 
.<Mr:ui;h tha.t a man was baptifed, that he got his coram onion, 
that he is a hearer of preachings, and the like. 

(2.) Church memherfhip : " Of the dock of lfrael." A 
man may be a Chriftian, and fprong of godly progenitor*, 
and go to ruin. There are many who may cry, Father Abra- 
ham, may be of his feed, and yet go to the pit themfelves 
ior all that. Again, 

(3.) It is not enough to be a member of the pure ft church 
on earth : this is flefh alio. Paul was not of one of the 
tribes that degenerated ; but of " the tribe of Benjamin, an 
Hebrew of the Hebrews." A man may not only be a 
Chriftian, but a Proteftant ; not only a Proteftant, but a 
4 Prefbyterian; but if he lean to either, he is no fervant of 
God, were he in principle never fo (launch to both ; it is 
flefh, and muft not be trufted to. 

(4.) To be of the ftricteft party of the pure ft church, is 
sot to be trufted to; it is not enough that ye are one of the 
drifted: among the Prefbyterians, even one whom the world 
accounts a Puritan. Paul was of the pureft chBrch then en 
earth, and one of the pureft and ftrifteft party, " concerning 
the law a Pharifce." 

(5,) Ht not only was of the drifted party, but he ex- 
celled moft of them, " concerning a;eal, perfecting the 
church." It is not enough to be really of the ft tide it par- 
ty, and even to cutjun moft of the drifted in duty. 

(6.) He was not one that was concerned only for reli- 
gion, and the honour ot his profeffion, but he was blamc- 
Ittk concerning the rightcoufnefs of the tow. His religion 



fed Kim- to- re f peel all God's commands; and his praftice 
came fo near to his principle!, that no body could lay any 
thing to his charge ; he had great attainments, but he counts 
them all flefh ; and they are To, upon a triple account : the*' 
are things, moft of them performed by man, who is P.rfu ; 
they are tainted all of them with fin, which is the. work o : ." 
the ikfbr; they art: done in fubferviency to a carnal defi^i - , 
oppofite to the fpiritual defign of the gofpel : fo tl at h/ 
defh is to be understood whatever is done by man, or what- 
ever is tainted with corruption, and that even aft< r as well 
as before converffon ; for the apoftlc excludes from any 
dare in his dependence for judication, even attainment 
after converilon, while he fays, " What things were gain 
to me," that is, while a Pharifee, " thofe I counted loft> lor 
Chrift;" and then he fubjoins, " Yea, doubtlefs, and 1 
count all things but lofs." The firft exprefiion, "What 
things were gain," was too narrow, becaufe it comprehends 
only what he had before; and therefore he adds this more- 
comprehenfive one t^ fupply that, "ail thing*;" and thsr 
is the fame with his own righteoufnefs, which he would 
not be found in, In the following verbs* In one word, to 
have no confidence in the flefh, u to ttiift in nothing that 
can be called our own, becaufe done by us that can be cal- 
led bnt Mem, as tainted with fin, and done by finful man. It 
is not that we are not to prize church- privtleges, nay, cer- 
tainly it is a great advantage to partake of the ordinances, 
to be of the pureft church, and the ftri&eft party, and the 
moil zealous of that party, and to be blamelefs, to be, r;.s 
we (did, a Prefbyterian, and the ft deleft, is duty, and our 
honour too : bye ye we are to have no confidence in this ; 
but we are to " rejoice in Chrift Jefus," If confciencc 
challenge, we are to flee to the blood of Chrift, and fprinkle 
confeience by that. If we be carried to the bar of God, 
and there accufed, all that is hid to our charge Chrift mull 
anlwer for it. If the law require perfect obedience, Chriii 
hai fulfilled all righteoufnefs, and is made of God " right- 
eoufnefs to them that believe;" and this is our joy. If 
confeience accufe, and lay a great charge againft us, Chrift 
has died ; and this is our joy. If any be fo bold as to con- 
demn the believer, God has juftified him, while he raifed 
Chrift from the dead, as being fully fat^fied with what he 
paid on the account of finoers. And, in a word, wherever 



we are (traightened, there is (till found ground offorrotr 
in our (elves, but joy in the Lord Chrift, " in whom be- 
lievin^, we rejoice with joy unfpeakable, and foil of glory." 
Now/if ye mean to ferve the Lord, ye muft, upon trie (aid 
terras, b«» reconciled to him : ye mall « have no confidence 
in the flefh ; ye moft rejoice in Chrift Jefua." 

3. He will admit you to be hit ferv ants upon thefe terms, 
that ye comply with all his commands. Ye mud take op 
his crofs, hate father and mother, (that is, rejed them with 
difdain, when they come in competition with nim). Ye 
mud cut off* the right hand, pluck out the right-eye^ But 
}e will fay. This is hard. I aiifwer, No matter will admit 
a fervant, but fuch as will obey him ; and that thefe things 
are not really hard, is plain, if weconfider, (r.) That all 
thefe things he will have us to part with, are prejudicial to 
os : if we muft hate father and mother, it is only when they 
come in betwixt Chrift and us; and we are bid cut off (he 
right- hand, pluck out the right-eye, when they offend, and 
oft end foj that wc muft part with heaven if we keep them, 
(2.) We are only bid do theie things, when the vecy doing 
of that which feems prejudicial to us, turns hugely to out: 
advantage ; for if we part with any thing for Chrift, we are 
to expect a vaft income, even to an hundred fold in this life* 

/and life eternal after it. And, further, this will appear 
both reafonable and eafy. For, 

4. A condition on which God will admit us to ferve 
him, is, that we do his work opon his owb ex pence. If 
we go in God*s way, we muft go in the ftrengthof the 
Lord. If we need, we muft come boldly to the throne of 
grace for grace; and, in a word, if we mean to ferve 
him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, we muft 
have grace to do i>, Heb. xii. 28. «« Wherefore we receiv- 
ing a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us have grace, 
whereby we may ferve God acceptably with reverence and 
godly fear." We muft do all in the name of Chrift, and 
that is, in his ftrength ; for the apoftle elfewhere tells us, 
that he " could do all things through Chrift {lengthening 
him/' And Chrift tells alio his difciples, that they can do 
aothing without him; and fore 1 am, this i& a very fair 
condition, for it makes the hardeft work eafy; it is all one 
to call a man with his prefent ftrength to a work eafy to 
him, or to call him to a work far above it, and incrcafe his 



ftrength in proportion to bis work. And thus it is in this 
cafe ; the ftrength of God's people is dill kept equal to, if 
•not above their work. 

5. He will admit you to his fervice, bat yon muft wear 
his livery, and that in general is holinefs ; for " holinefs 
become! h the Lord's houfe for ever ;" but more particularly 
we are bid " be cloathed with humility," 1 Pet. v. 5. 
The feraphs have wings to cover their feet and their 
face, that is* a cloathing of humility in a fenfc of God 'a 
glory, and their own imperfections ; and we muft wear the 
fame garb ; we muft not glory in ourfelves, or our orna* 

.stents*, but "let him that glories, glory in the Lord." 

6. He will admit you to his fervice; but then ye muft 
(trve him for ever. He will have his fervanrs to be for him 
.for ever, and not for another; and when all things are as 

we would wifh about his fervice, fure we have reafoa to fay* 
that we lore bur Matter, and we love his fervice, and we 
will not part; but every one of us fay, I and my feed, I 
and my houfe, and all that will take my advice, (hall ferve 
the Lord lor ever* Upon thefe terms the Lord will accept 

4t&fy, Will ye fay, What work will bt fit us to ? We 
cannot tell yon all the particulars ; and fochas are engaging 
in fervice do not ex peel this; but I will tell you all thai ye 
can defire about it. 

1. It is enff woik, in that forecitedMattb. xi. 29. "Take 
my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and 
lowly in heart, and ye (hall find reft unto your fouls. For 
.my yoke is eafy, and my burden light." The fervice of 
fin is labour, and toil, and a heavy load: fo in the z8th 
verfe, « Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy 
laden." The fervice of Chrift is eafy, and in it his people 
find reft ; a work that is a reft muft be very fweet, and fuch 
is the Lord's work. Would to God we could make you 
uoderftand that fweet repofe and bleffed reft there is in the 
fervice of God \ O how engaging would it be I 

2. It is a plea/ant work : " Wifdora's ways are ways of 
pkafantnefs, and all her paths peace," Prov* iii. 1-7.; and 
in keeping God's commands, as well as for keeping them, 

-there b great reward, Pfal. xix. *i. 

J. It is humrahk* All the works that tbfi Lord com* 
D d 2 mauds, 


manJ<» as well as thef: which he does, are honourable and 

gloricnr, .PfaL cxi. 3. 

4. Ir \s profitable. Godlinrfs is truly great gain; it-is 
profitable tor all things ; it has the promife of the life 'that 
now is, and that which is to come. If he calls us to any 
ti?ce of fervice, all the profit cornet dill to our account. 
it he call us to fuffer, " then our light afflictions, that are 
but for a moment , wotk for us a far more exceeding' and 
eternal weight of glory/' 2- Cor. iv. 17. And in a word, 
the man, " that is righteous is profitable to himfelf," Job 
xx ii. 2. But, 

$Mj % Whom Jbnll ive have ivith us in this <workf This 
is a very confide rable point, and of great concern, becaofe 
fervants arc not alone in the work, and very much of their 
comfort depends upon their fellow fervants. Now, as to 
this, all is encouraging. For, 

1 . The glorious Mediator is not afhamed to ferve the Lord: 
" Behold my fcrvant whom 1 uphold, mine eleft in whom 
my foul delighteth," I fa. xlii. 1. 

2. Angeh join in ferving the Lord;- hence the angel 
took occafion to prevent John's worshipping of him, Rev., 
xix 10. " See thou do it not : lam thy fellow fervant, 
and of thy brethren that have the teftimony of Jefus." 

3. The faints, the excellent ones of the earth, are joined 
in this work; all the general affembly and church of tire 
fird-bora, whofe names are written in heaven. So that we 
fee, as »he work is pleafing, fo the fociety is very engaging. 

6thly. But if ye fay, What reward may *we look for ? I 
anfwer, though there were no reward, what is fa id is enough. 
Bui yet we fay, 

1. There is a reward, Pfal. xix. n. « And he that comes, 
to God mud believe that he is, and that he is a rtwarder 
of them that diligently feck him," Heb, xi. 6. 

2. This is a Jure reward, Tit. i.2. «< In hope of eter- 
nal life, which God that cannot lie promifed before the 
world was." 

3. It is a durable reward; it is eternal; and we receive 
a kingdom that cannot be fhaken, uho ferve God accepta- 
bly, with reverence and godly fear, Heb. xii. 28. 

4. So great a reward; it is, that "eye has not feen, ear 
has not hejjd, it has- not entered into. the heart of man to 
conceive, 1 Cor, ii. 9* [ f In- keeping them there is great 



reward*" Pfal. xix. it. Upon the whole, we conclude, 
that whatever ye can defire, ye have hore for your encourage- 
ment. A Matter, grear 9 good, ami faithful; fufficient ic- 
cuiity of acceptance* the terms reafonablf, the work defina- 
ble,' the company incomparable, and die reward great and 

But may fome fay, We fear f thc precifenefs of the way, 
ye oblige us to ah intolerable ftri&nef* and rigoroufnefs iq 
our walk. We anfwer>. 

u The- way of God is indred ftrift, and we can make no 
allowance for you to indulge any luft, not fo much as to bow 
io the houfe of Rimmon. 

a. If this affright you,, truly we mud fay, that all is not 
tight, the heart is not changed; for when once this is done, 
the difficulty is over-he re. But, 

O theu, I fear,, fays the foul, that I (hail not get a pet- 
• verfc heart kept in this fwcet way, which is indeed a way 
of- peace- and pJeafanjtnefs. And therefore, 

3. Ye muft look to God, that he may take away the 
heart of ftone v and give you a heart to fear, him ; for there 
is a neceflicy for it, that the tree be good, and then the fiuit 
will be (d, and never till then. But, 

4. It may be, the .ftriclnefs. you fear is not real, but 
imaginary ;.as, (i;) It may be, ye imagine it will not allow 
you to be joyful ; but this h a fond vain delufion. Religion 
gives a man the moft folid<ground of joy ; it gives him al- 
lowance to rejoice, it directs how to make joy run in the 
right channel, which makes it double; and then it Superadds 

.a command, 4< Rejoice in the Lord always; and. again, I 
fay, rejoice," Phil. iv. 4, (2.) It maybe, ye think it will 

.not allow, you the ufe of lawful comforts; but this is a 
valtmiftake; it will not allow you to abufc them; but ic 
bids you ufe them: " Eat thy bread with joy, and diink 
thy wine with a merry heart, for God now acccptcth thy 
works," fays the wife man, Kcclef. ix. 7* (3.) You fufpeft 
it will not allow you to be civil and well bred. This i*»a 

. (hamelefs miftake ; true religion makes men the molt plea- 
fant company in the world ; it makes them gentle, meek, 
affable, not foon angry, loth to give offence, careful to 
pleafe all men in all things lawful, fills their hearts wills 
love*. and snakes them edifying in their difcourfc, 



But again, may ye fay, 1 will never be able for this fer- 
vice, it is too great a work for me. 1 anfwer, 

i. It is truly fa id, ye can do nothing. « Without me, 
(fays ChriftJ, ye can do nothing," John xv. 5. Ay, but, 

2. It is faid to no purpofe, uulefs ye fay more* vis. That 
the Lord cannot make you able ; if ye be willing, the Lord 
will make you able. 

3. God is able to ftrengthen you with all might, accord- 
ing to the glorious working of his mighty power, whereby 
he is able to fubdue all things to himfeif, to perfeel ftreogth 
in weaknefs, and to make the weak as David, and David as 
an angel of God. 

Now upon the whole, to re-affume my exhortation, My 
friends, in the bowels of our Lord Jefus, we obteft you this 
day, comply with our exhortation, " Serve the Lord, ana* 
ehufe him this day ; and if not, tell me. All things are 
fair, the fcr?ice, the Matter, the terms, the reward; and 
if ye have a mind to ferve, there is nothing can come in 
your offer like this. This is what we feek, God is onr 
witnefs : it is not yours, but you. Through hit grace, were 
we fare to carry this, we would have it at any rate, and 
nothing will pleafe but thia. And now , if ye refufc, we take 
God to record aguinft you, that ye have had a fair offer, and 
have fitten it. 

Thus far for the- firft d oft r inc. 

We come now to the fecond, which yon may take thai, 
to bt fomewhat more clear than in the firft proposal of it. 

Doct. II. " Such as have any true and fincere regard 
onto the Lord, and his fervice, will make their own religion, 
or pei fonal religion, their fir ft and main care." But as for 
me* t3r. firft mty and then my boufe. 

I fay, they will make it their firft care, they will begin 
with it. Before they look what others are doing, they will 
■: firft obferve how all is with themfclves. Again, they will 
snake it their main care, they will be concerned mainly, 
and moil deeply, that they them fe Ives be well ftated with 
refpett unto the Lord, and his fervice r but we do not fay, 
that they will make it their only concern. Nay, they will 
be deeply concerned with the ftate of their families, and 
wjth the ftate of the church; but they will begin here at 



tome, and look how they in their own fervice ere dated. 
We fey, they will make their own religion, or perfonal rc- 
tigioe, their firft aad maia cart . When we fpeak of their 
own fervice, or perfonal religion* we call it fo, to diftia* 
goiih it from family religion, and from the yet more pub- 
lic fervice of God in our church affemblies. We (hall 
not fpend time in proving this truth. What we offer, when 
we come to the reafona of the doctrine, will fufficienrly 
conBrm it. Now, then, in di (cutting this truth, we (hall 

I. Tell you what it is in their own religkn, or in their 
ewn ferving of the Lord, that fuch as have a fincere regard 
unto him and hi* fervice are firft and mainly concerned 

1L We (hall offer you fome reafons of the doctrine, and 
ftiew you why they are firft gad mainly concerned about 
their own religion. 

We begin with the 

1. And | among other thing?; fuch as art truly fincere, 
end have any real coneern for the Lord and his fervice, 
they will be dteply concerned. 

I. About the reality of their engagement in the Lord's 
fervice : a queftion it will be that will lie very near, and 
be much upon the heart of every one who is truly in ear- 
ned in this matter, Am I yet entered in the Lord's fervice ? 
Have I accepted him upon his own term?, as my Lord and 
Matter t Have I yet felt that powerful influence of the Holy 
€heft, without which none can in lincerity fay, « that 
Jefus is the Lord," i Cor. xii. 3. 

This is the foundation of all ; for if we be not in very 
deed his fervants in vain look we for his fervants' allow- 
ance, their acceptance in, or their reward for their work. 
"This, I fay is the foundation; and therefore the wife build- 
er will lay it furely, will dig deep, Luke vi. 48. ; that is, 
he will ufe his beft and moft vigorous endeavours to remove 
and take out of the way the robbifh that entervenes betwixt 
him and the Rock ; and he will be fore to fee it, and fee that 
hia foundation be laid exa&ly oa the Rock. This is the 
firft and great concern of a fincere foul, that they be not de- 
ceiving tbemfelves, but that they be really engaged in the 
fiord's fervice. 


2. Sincere fouls will be deeply concerned about the* 
fiuvdnefi of their hear.'s in the way of the Lord. No heart 
can be found in the way of the Lord, thai is not renewed \ 
and therefore this uilr be r he care of every one who has any 
real regard unto the Lord, or his fervice, that rhey have a 
heart to fear. and ferve the Lord, according as the Loid has 
promifed unto his people, Ezek. xi. 19. 20. ; and which 
we find the faints earruftly praying for, as being urder the 
greatelt concern to have it, Pfal. cxix. 80. «* Let (fa>s 
the godly i'falirift) my heart be found in thy ftatutes, that. 
1 be nor afhamedj.' And no wonder though they be brought 
under deep concern as to this, Gnce the Lord, who fcarch- 
es the heart, hath frequently miffed and quarrelled the* 
want of this, under the faireft pretences, nay, and the mod: 
fincerc engagements; I fay, fincere as to any thing difcern- 
ed, either byi the pcrfons themfelves, or onlookers, as we 
find, Dent. v. 27. 29. The peoples in the 27th verftr, 
engages fairly to fcrve the Lord j and we have no reafonr 
to doubt their being fo far ingenuous, that they really meant 
what they fa id. Say they to Mofes, « Go thou near, and 
hear all that the Lord our God (hall fay ; and fpeak thou 
unto us all that the Lord our God (hall fpeak unto thee* 
and we wHl hear it and do it." A fair engagement ! But, 
ah ! there ifr a lamentable want ! A found heart is wanting* 
and that will fpoil all. This, 1 verily believe, they under- 
flood not. Mofes fcarce understood ; ay, but God never roiffes 
it* vet. 29. " They have well faid all that they have fpok- 
en. O that there were fuch a heart in them, that they 
would fear me* and keep, all my commandments always, 
that it might be well with them, and with their children, 
for ever." Some of you think, and fome of you uill not 
itand to fay it, Whatever faults be in our practice, yet, 
bleflcd be God, we have good hearts to God. O hellifti 
delufion ! He that thinks his heart is good, is blindfolded 
by the devil, and has a heart no better than the devil's; for 
" the heart," by the teftiir.ony of God, " is deceitful 
above all things, and defperately wicked," Jer. xvii. 9. 

3. Such as have any thing of a real regard unto the 
Lord's fervice, will be mightily concerned about ih&jSvgUm 
xe/s oi their eye. Of how great moment this is, our Lord 
tells us," Matth. vi. 22, 23. Our Lord, in the preceding 
part of the chapter, had been directing them to whom he 



<pfeached, aM© 4 the ends they (houM have : he tells -them 
that felf (herald not be their end in their prayers and farting?, 
and their end fhoold not be to atnafs earthly trrafure ard 
riches, but that it fhoold be God's glory, and the enjoy. 
ment of hira, which is heavenly treaiure indeed ; and here 
he teaches the importance of being light as to the end: 
(i.) Plainly, ver, 21. ; and, (2.) By this fimilitcde, ver. 
22. wherein he compares the main end, cr the foul's inten- 
tion, unto the eye oi the body, and (hews, that the direc- 
tion of the whole life, and re&irude of all the aclicns of 
life, depend upon the fmcerity and rrclitude of the end, as 
the direction of the whole body doth upon the finccri'y, 
and fiaglenefs, and clearneff, 01 the bodily eye. No won. 
der, then, that fuch as are in earner! about the fervice of 
the Lord be concerned about this, fmce the whole depends 
opon it. A fquint look as to the end will quite fpoil, and 
reader altogether ufelefs, the moft fair and fpecioos per- 
formances. " Take heed," fays the bleffcd Jefus, in the firft 
Tcrfeof this fame chapter, ** that ye do not your alms be- 
fore men, to be feen of them ;" otherwife ye have no re- 
ward of your Father which is in heaven. Many of you 
multiply duties, bur. God knows, few look to their own 
ends and aim in duties. But take heed ; ye fee, a fquint 
look to the applaufe of men will make all to no purpofe. 
- 4. Sincere fouls will make it their firft and great care, 
thar, in their ferving ot the Lord, they have a fafe rul<> 
<as wdl as a tingle eye. Much labour may be loft to no pur* 
pofc, if this be' not looked to. And hence it is we find the 
faints in fcripture mightily concerned about this, and look- 
ing, and that defer vedly, on the word, as a «* light uuto 
their feet, and a lamp unto their paths ;" and hence are they 
moft earned for in&rudtion in the word, as the only fure and 
fafe rule, direcling us how we fhould ferve the Lord. How 
carneftly, and how frequently, does the Pfalmift prefs this 
I deftr?, in that 119th pfalm throughout! wherein we have 
the mighty concern of the Pfalmift, about the rule, clearly 
evidenced : and no wonder, fince the Lord may juftly ferd 
us, both for our fuftenence in working, and our reward lor 
•it when it is done, to thofe who prescribed us our work; 
for ferely to ferve the Lord is to do whatever he commands 
153. We may not add unto the word which he commands 



as ; from this we are bound op by an e*pffjff prohibit ton, 

Dcut. iv. i. 

5. Such as are indeed fincerc, *iH He 9 in the fit ft placet 
and principally! concerned about the diligence of their hand 
in the work of the Lord. What our hand finds. to do, we 
are to do it with all our might ; and he is curfed with a curfe 
that doth the work of the Lord floth fully. Much, there* 
fore, it is upon the foul to evite. and how he may evite 
that curfe, Jer. xlviii. 10. u Curfed be he that doth the 
work of the Lord deceitfully ," or negligently, as the word 
is rendered in the margin of fome of our Bibles. 

6. To add no more, they will be much concerned about 
their acceptance) and their f leafing him who hath called them 
to his fervicc. If God accept, then all is well with them ; 
and if he reject, then nothing can compenfate the lofs they 
have by his hiding; and -therefore they lay a fide ail entan- 
glements, thart they may pleafe him who hath chofen them 
to be his foldters and fervants, 2 Tim. ii. 4. Thus Lave 
we performed what we promised in the firft place, and have 
(hewed you what it is in their own fervice of -God, or in 
their perfonal religion, that gets the firft and chief room in 
the care and concern of the Lord's people ; and it is the re* 
slity of their engagement} the found neiis of their heart, the 
finglenefs of their eye, the diligence of their hand, the fa fie- 
ry of their rule, and, finally, their acceptance in it. Be- 
fore they look to other things, they firft look to this, and 
this is the firft in their thoughts and concern. We are now, 

II. To (hew the rife of this concern, and to tell you <whj 
fuch as have any fincere regard unto the Lord, or his fer- 
vice, make their own religion their firft and main concern. 
Now, of this we may take the following reafons. 

i. They will do it, becaufe the commend of God has a 
firft and principal refpedt unto our own religion, perfonal 
religion. The commands are directed to particular per- 
forms : « Thou (halt have no other gods before me ; thou 
(halt not make graven images; remember thou the Sab- 
bath-day. And not only fo, but their firft look is to what 
concerns thefe particular perfons immediately : it firft binds 
thee as to thine own practice, and then calls thee to regard 
it with refpeel toothers: " Thou (halt not make unto thee 
any graven images ;" and firft thou art to " remember, the 
Sabbath/ 9 and then to look that thy ferrant and ft ranger do 



fb. We jnuft begin at hones caft oat the beam cot of our 
own.oye, before w/e look to the mote 10 our neighbour's. 
, 2. Such as are fincere will look fir ft and. mainly to their 
own religion,, becaufe it it doubly important ; important in 
itfelf* «ad important* ,bccaufe withcut it we are not in a 
capacity to fexve the Lords cither in our families or in 
public. If the tree be not made good, none of the fruit 
can be good. . If we be not .really the Lord's fervants. if 
our hearts be not found, our eye fingle, our iiand diligent 
in oar own per focal and private .work, walk, .and ways it 
is utterly impoffible we (hould be fo in the more public du» 
ties of religion. ... 

3. They will be, and are, fir ft and principally concerned 
•bout their ownireligion, becaufe a due concern about our 
own religion is 9 if .not the fpring, yet one of the principal 
inducements onto, and e&dtual means for engaging to vig- 
our and diligence in the other more public duties of religi- 
on ; yea, to neceflary is the connection betwixt diligence 
in this and in the other, that public religion fifes and fal.'s, 
jebbs and flows, abates and increafes, accordiog as our per. 
focal religion rifes or falls. When faints ate in a good cafe, 
Zion will be much upon their hearts* 
. 4. The tcoly fincere will make their own s religion their 
sfirft and main concern, becaufe it lies moil within their vw* 
rtaih. We cannot. get our families, congregations, and far 
Jefs churches, as we would have them; but what w,e may 
through grace reach, that we are obliged not to want* 
'Though Jolhua cannot get all Ifracl engaged in the fervice 
,<>f the Lord, yet himfelf he may 3 and .tlierefore. what his 
4tand finds to do, what. he may be able, through grace, to go 
.through, is that 'he is engaged to do, and to do it with his 
might, Lccl. ix. 10. 

. 5. Sincere fouls will make * their own religion their firft 
-concern, becaufe, open their fuccefs in this, they have the 
.grcateft venture. David, though his houfe be not fo with 
• God, if he htmfelf be right, may have peace. Minifter*, 
•.who have been . faithful, may through grace have peace, 
though Ifracl be not gathered. But there is an indifpen fa- 
ble necefliry that we ourfelves be perfonaliy religious ; 
«« without holinefs no mahftiallfcethc Lord," Heb. xii. 14. 

6. 1 may add, fincere fouls will begin with, and lay out 

.(heir main concern about pcrfonal religion, becaufe the 

E e fcofflcps 


fiottltftiftheflnk had this way* And wc are bid, wheni* 
fearch after the Lord, go oar ways out by the footfteps of 
the flock : now,' we may fee others who have gone before, 
and who through faith and patience have inherited the pro- 
miies, taking this way. So we find Jufhua doth, To we find 
David refolved to do, Pfal. ci. 2. where firft he refolvea 
upon a perfect heart, and then a perfect way, and then to 
go to what was more public. And thus much for the 
doctrinal pan. 

We come now to make fome application. 

U/e % 1. Of information. Is it £o 9 that fuch as have any 
fine ere regard to the fervice of the Lord, begin at their own 
religion ? Then, 

1. We ma) conclude it a dangerous perverting of the order 
enjoined by die Lord, and followed by bis people, to begin 
with a concern about the public. Some there are, and not 
a few there have been, who have lived either profanely, or 
at belt in an tftrangement from the power of religion, who 
all of a fudden, either from openly profane, carelefs Gallt- 
05, or dead aud lazy formalifts, turn mighty zealots, and, 
Jehu. like outtun others in a mighty concern for the public, 
taking all thacis amifs feverely : but none know how they 
caine by it; they were never exereiied about their .own 
f Jals. This it a per v eric method ; and Satan is here, though 
cloathed as an angel of light. And this is exceedingly dan* 
gerous, • 

• iflt To the prrfon himfelf ; becaufe, (1.) It mightilv 
ftrengthens him in a proud and vain conceit of himfelf, while 
he fees not what is at home, but only fees himfelf abroad, 
where he runs before others; and furely growth in pride is 
growth in all fin. God gites grace to the humble ; and if fo, 
Jure I am, the proud advance in graceleflhefs, and fin ga- 
the rs ft rength. Again, (t.) It is dangerous to the perfons, 
becaufe this rum them commonly to fuch heights, that they 
can neither go forward, nor ft and the ground they come to; 
and therefore they mull fall, and fome of them fall iito ut- 
ter ruin, make fh>p wreck of faith, and of a good confidence, 
and are loll for ever. 

zdlji It is dangerous to the tanfe they efpoufe : for, (1.) 
They take wrong meam ; and the more we tamper with im- 
proper means, dill the uorfe, and the further we are from, 
•ux friend, (2.) Their end is not right laid, their Jriews not 

finglc * 


Ingle; and this, with the wrong fteps they take in the way 
is found really to do religion more injury, than ever their 
forward nafs did it for vice. 

ytfy, It is da.igerous to thofe wno embark nv'ttb them i» 
tire fame work: For, (i.) It fets them off from the true 
way of reaching the moft excellent aims. And, (2.) It 
la^s them open to a hazard of apoftacy, and failing, when 
their leaders fall. Beware, therefore, of perverting the 
Lord's order. 

*. We may drawth;s conclufion from the doftrint, tl?at all 
concern about the public, that takes us otfirom a concern about 
our own foul*, in the fiift and principalplace, is dangerous, 
and to be fufpecled. It is dangerous to fpend all our time, 
and talk, and thoughts, about others, while we are carelefs 
about ourfelves. . 

3. It is a dangerous and terrible iffue of exercife about 
our own fouls, to lofe it quite, before any real ourgate be 
got in the Lord's ordinary way, in a great deal, a flood of 
concern about the public ; and this is the iflue of fome ex* 
ercifes at this time. Some are for awhile fotnewhat con- 
cerned about their own fouls ; but all of a fudden this wears 
off, we cannot tell how, and prefently there is nothing but 
zeal about the public. We are obliged to fj-eak of this up- 
on a double account: (i.) To prevent the offence, and 
guard againft the evil, that the falls of fuch per Tons may do, 
and give to fuch as are lefs eftablifhed in the Lord's way - y 
and, (2.) To guard' people againft a dangerous miftake, 
which is really dangerous, becaufe it is a miftake, and a 
miftake in a matter of very high concernment, and moft of 
all, becaufe it is fuch a miftake fo well m a iked with a white 
veil; that if is hard to defcerh it. 

4. We may draw this conclusion, that fuch of yon as were 
never concerned about your own religion, ^nd that to fome 
-porpofe, whatever ye think of yourfelves, or whatever 
others may think of you, ye never ftruck ifairftroke about 
the public : if ye have done any thing there, ye hare begun 
at the wrong end, and ye have no reafon to expett accep- 
tance at the Lord's hand. 

U/e 3. Is for trial. Is it fo, that fuch who have any 
fincere regard to religion, to God, or his honour and fcr- 
vice, do make their own religion their firft and great con- 
cern I Then furely we are all concerned to try whether *e 



do make our own religion our mam concern. If we* do* raffr 
thsn furcly we are naught ; and therefore his of the higheft 
importance to us, to be Satisfied asrothis, and to be diftincV 
in oar thoughts about ft. Now, that : we ttay fome way 
help you heie, we (hall enter upon a. fearch. for this concern^ 
that we may know whether really we have been onder any 
concern about our religion, yea* or not. . Now, paft all pe- 
radvenrure, if we be indeed concerned about our religion* 
thi. will be found in our thought?, in our affections, in our 
word', and in our aclions ; and therefore in alt thefewe 
(hall fearch for if. ^ 

i. We fay, if ye be concerned about your own religion* 
then f j rely this concern will appear in y oar thoughts ^out 
it. And we (hall therefore put a few fcrious queftioni t» 
you, with refpeft unto your own thoughts. 

(1.) Have ye any thoughts about what concerns yoor 
own religion ? Some of you, I fear, dare fcarre fay, that 
ever yc think about God or his fervice, fave only when ye 
are in the church, hearing the minifter fpeak about fuch 
things ; nay, 1 fear, that not a few of you do fcarce even 
then think about your own religion. Do not many of you 
allow your thoughts to rove, ye know not where? or if ye 
liften to what is faid, ye apply nothing of it; or if ye do* 
it is only to others ? Is it not thus with many of you ? Well* 
1 afiurcyou, ye have no religion, nor have ye any concern 
about religion ; the wicked at he in" s character is yours. 
" God is not in all his thoughts/' Pfal. x. 4. If ye think 
not of religion, of your own religion,- not only when at- 
tending ordinances! but alfoat orher times, ye have no con* 
cern about it, 

(2.) Though your thoughts be fome way and fomtftime* 
employed about this, yet ye mav have no fuch concern as 
that which we inquire after; and therefore we pofe you, in 
the next placet do your thoughts run naturally; and as it 
were of their own accord, in this channel ? Some people 
think about their fouls, and the concerns of their oWn laU 
vation, but never except when they are compelled to it ; 
hut furely this fpeaks them not fuitably concerned about it* 
What a man is Concerned about, his mind runs to It, as it 
were, without bidding. Ye arte many of you concerned 
about the things of the world ; well, if ye have a bargain 
61 any moment* which ye are concerned about/ ye will not 



*eed to force your thoughts toward that ; nay, Mat. vi. 21. 
"Where the treafare is, there the heart will be," and there- 
fore the thoughts will run that way ; nay, they will run 
over the belly of all impediments. Is it fo about your re- 
ligion ? Do your thoughts dill run thither ? If it be not fo, 
then forely ye have no concern about your own religion. 
He that never thinks about his own religion, is never por-. 
ng in his thoughts (except when driven ro it) to know 
bow matters are with him, whether he be a fervant of God ' 
or not ? I fear not to fay, he is nonet and is not concerned 
to be one. . 

(3. ) Oo your thoughts dwell upon this ? Is the reality of 
your own engagement in the Lord's fervice, the foundnefs 
of your heart, finglenefs of your eye, &c. the fubje&s to 
which not only your minds run nata rally, as it were, and 
of its own accord, but alfo that which your thoughts fix 
on? As our iminds do readily run to the thoughts of that 
whereabout we are concerned, .fo they are ftrongly inclined . 
to fix there, and the mind loves to exercife its thought* 
about that, I£a» xxvi. 3. The mind or thought is flayed 
upon God. . The man that trufts in the Lord, will defire 
to have his thoughts thus flayed. . Is it (o with you ? If it 
be not (o in fome meafure, then truly you have reafon to 
think that, ye have never been in earneft concerned about . 
yoar own religion. . 

Objict. But here may fome poor exercifed foul fay, » 
Now, indeed,' ye have found me; for I could never all my 
days get my thoughts fixed apon any thing that is good ; 
dill my mind .gets away, and is carried off fometimes alter 
one vanity, and fometimes after another. 

To fach I have a few things to offer for their relief. 
[i%] Is this ftraying of thy mind thy burden and grief? If 
it be, then fa rely it (peaks thy foul defirous of fixing tare. 
Again, [2.] Doft thou it rive to keep thy thoughts fixed ? ' 
. Doft thou endeavour to &yt them,- and cry to God to fix - 
them i If fo, then undoubtedly thy mind is carried away 
violently by- fome enemy, and that is not thine own deed. 
Thy foul is defirous » to fix, but fomething forces it 
off* either the power of thy domeftic enemy, that enemy 
that is in thine own bofom, I mean fin, or of fome foreign > 
enemy, Satan or the world, ihakes you ; and this makes 
nothing againft ycu. . Therefore, 1 fay, [3-JDoje, as of^ 

E.£t2>. 5>S* 


as your mind is away, bring it back again* and that with 
grief and (arrow for its departing* ? if fo, then forely ye 
have no reafon to doubt your concern upon this account. 
Having thus obviated this exception, we proceed in our 
learcli ; and, 

(4.) We fay, D# ye think frequeniy upon this fubjcdl ? 
They who are deeply concerned about any thing, their 
thoughts will be frequently employed about it ; fo, if thou 
be concerned about thine own religion, many a thought 
it will coft thee. They will ever and anon look to the 2n- 
glenefs of their own eye, the diligence of their hand f 
and the foundnefs of their heart ; if they cannot get long 
dwelt, yet they will oft come to it, who are in good earneft 
in the matter. The religious man « meditates day and 
night in God*s law," Pfal. u 2. He is ever thinking about 
the Lird's teftimonies, and how far he is framed into a fuit- 
ablcnefs to them, or how far it is otherwife with him. 
Now* if it be not thus with you, truly ye have never been 
brought under any concern about religion to any pnrpofe. 

(3.) Are your thoughts about your religion diftinc> ? 
Some there are, who have fome times thought about their 
fouls, but they cannot tell well what they mean by them, 
they are fo confufed : they think and think on, and after* 
may be twenty years thinking, they are as far from any dif- 
tinftoeG as before ; but ftill they go on» Now and then 
they will have (bms thoughts, lifting in fome work upon 
the afTe&ions, full as uocemin and indiftinft : Is it thus 
with you ? But that ye may know yet more clearl/what we 
mean by this queftion, 1 (hall break it into a few other 
qaeftions. And, [1.] I fay, Can ye tell what that is m 
your religion that takes up your minds and thoughts ? Ma* 
ny of you have, it may be, fome thoughts, but ye cannot 
tell about what they are employed. Is it about the finglenefs 
of your eye, about the fineerity of your heart? or, can ye 
tell whereabout it is that ye employ your thoughts? If not* 
truly your concern fignifies but very little, it will not ftard 
you in much Again, [2.] Hare ye any diftincl end 
in your thinking about religion ? what deftgn ye by think- 
ing about it? Is it only to think, without thinking to any 
purpofe ? Some people both think and Ipcak ab ut religion, 
but 1 fear they are not aiming really at eny diflincl end ; 
fte HaL xxvii. 4.; and the concern of fuch is but little 



worth. Ye think about your religion ; well, what d * ye 
expect or propofe to hare by your thinking about it ? 
Would yc know your cafe, or what way to come to it ? 
what is the remedy of it ? or how to apply it ? Aim yr at 
fuch ends? If not, then truly all your thoughts are to lit- 
tle purpofe. Once more, [3.] Get ye any diftinft ifTue of 
your thoughts ? Are ye like the door upon the hinges ? Ye 
think, and ye can never tell what ye have got* or what 
ye have done, by all your thoughts. If this be all, then 
truly 1 cannot well tell what to think of your thoughts; I 
think, I may fay, ye can have but little comfort of them. 

(ft.) What fort of thoughts have ye ? People m3y rwe 
thoughts enow, and even about religion, and* it may be* 
fuch as do fomeway refpeel their own religion, and yet 
they are not much concerned about it, while their minds 
are only bu(?*d in applauding and flattering thoughts of their 
own cafe : but now, is it otherwife with you ? Do ycu ap- 
ply yourfelves to fearching and trying thought.* ? have ye 
many jealoufies and fufpicions of yourfelves ? do ye often 
make diligent fearch into your own cafe ? have ye many 
doubts and queftionings ? If your thoughts be not in fome 
meafure exercifed ths way, it is a fad evidence that ye are 
not, nor have ever been, under any true concern about your 
own religion : for fuch thoughts have the faints had, who 
have b^en in earneft in the matter; of whom we have a 
large account in fcripture hiftory* particularly Plal. exxxix. 
23, 24. 

2. We (hall fearch tor this concern about our own reli- 
gion, in the affections. Wherever we are concerned, all our 
afFeftion6 will be employed about that, {ti upon it, or fee 
againft what is oppofite to it. Now, 

(1.) We pofe you on it: Are your affecTions employed 
about your owa. religion ? do ye grieve that things arc 
wrong with yourfeTv*$ ? do ye fear that they may be fo ? do 
ye hate what is prejudicial to your own religion ? do your 
fouls cleave to anything that may any way contribute to 
the bettering things with you? Say, my friends, is it thus 
vi'M you ? or is it not ? I fvar> that many of you who can 
for row and lament bitterly, if any worldly thing frame with, 
or fall out to you otherwife than as you would wifh, yec 
never all your life long knew what it was to be grieved in- 
deed for fia> or that matters were not right with refpeel un- 


to your fpiritual cafe. Ye have no feats, no joy* u 
griefs, no zeal, nor. any affections about thefe things. Sure 
\y then religion, your own religion, ia not the one thing witl 
you, your main thing; it is not : Nay, furely you have m 
concern about it : " Where the treafure is/' or any part fl 
ir, " there will the heart be," Matth. vi. 20, 2 u 

(a.) Are your affections frequently employed about you 
own religion? have ye frequent fears, griefs, jays> *ru 
other affections from this ipring? Man, woman, if thoj 
art concerned about thine own religion, to have it righl 
thou wilt be oft looking to it; and every look will fe 
thy affections to work one way or other. If thou findel 
thyfelf wrong, the foul will ft retch its affections, like it 
wings, to fly out of that cafe; and if otherwife, it will* » 
1 may fo fay, clafp them about what it has, to hold it fail 
So Era v id, when he thought upon his ways, and found thee 
wrong, " made hafte and delayed not to turn his feet t 
God's teftimonies," Pfal. cxix. 59. And the fpoufe, Cam 
iti. 4. when (he found the Lord in her embraces, « (h 
held him, and would not let him go." He whofc affec 
tions are not frequently employed about his own foul's cafi 
furely he was never concerned about it as he ought. 

(3.) Whereabout is the edge oi thy afFe&ions, the favou 
and zeal of them employed ? If this be not about thine ow 
foul, thine own religion, truly thou art not concerned 
Where there is any tbtng of true heat and warmth, ye knot 
that which is neareft will meet with moil of it, and partak 
mod of it. If thou haft any affections about religion at al 
then the heat of them, the fervour of them, will be era 
ployed about thine own religion; if there be a fire of zea 
againft (in, it will confume the beam in thine own eye, be 
fore it reach to the mote in thy neighbour's, Matth. v. <j 
If it bz not thus with tiice f thy affections aic not abou 
thine own religion. 

(4.) Haft thou any reft, whilft either thou feed grout* 
to think thyfelf wrong:, or art in uncertainty about thin 
own religion ? Canit thou live quietly and eafily while no 
fettled as to the evcrlafting concerns of thy foul ? If tha 
canft, .thy affections are not fet on, nor art thoa truly con 
cerned about thofc which do belong unto thy peace. 
know not what to fay of fbmc people, who have no mor 
affuraace of falvation than of damnation, and yet can ref 


TlfB CmSTtAWf MJTT-'' 33f» 

fecurb* "and'be^uie* a*d very Well content in that cafe : I 
can aflufc foch* that tbby were never aright concerned 
above. their ©wh religion. Some doubt, and they never 
feet to be fatisfcd : May be I may be favred, fiyeft thou ; 
may be thou mayeft be damned, fay I. What ground haft 
thou to -hope that thou (halt be faved ? If ye will fpeak what 
ii true, ye will fay, truly I have none. Bit 1 have fomewhat 
{ofay, as a ground of my conje&ure : \ft % Thou defined 
damnation. 2//p, Thou who canft fit Kill quietly in that 
cafe, thou waft never concerned to be faved ; and I never 
knew one get to heaven who laid not falvation to heart, 
Ezek. xxx vi. 37. 

(5<) Thou haft, it may bz? fome affections about thine 
ova religion ; but when is it that they are moved ? and 
what gives rife to them? Haft thou never thefe afFcclions- 
bot when thou heareft a preaching, or when thou meet eft 
with fome awakening providence ? Truly, if thou neves 
haft, any concern about religion, fave when thou haft fome 
external caufe exciting thee, then thy concern about reli- 
gion ia of no great value. True concern about religion will 
turn the foul's eye inward, to commune withitfclf, and take 
coonfel in our own heart, how to get what is amift amend* 
ed ; and- this will fee thy affections a- work ; " How long 
ikall I'tbke cooafer in my foul, having forrow in my heart 
daily ?" Pfal. xiii. 2. But, to go on, 

3« Having fearched the mind and affections, we come 
now to enquire for this concern in your *w*rds ; and if there 
be any thing indeed of 3 real concern upon the foul about 
religion, herein it will appear; for, " out of the abundance 
of the heart the mouth fpeaketh*" Matth. xii. 34. Now, 
that we may bring this matter to fome iffue, 1 (hall put a 
few queftiuiutoyou in reference to your words or difcourfc. 

(i.j I pofe you on this, Do ye ever keep up any converfe, 
arty difcourfc with you rfeles ? and if ye do, whereabouts is 
it ? Do ye never commune with your own hearts ? If not, 
then furely ye do but little regard your own intereft. He 
that never cenvcrfes with his own heart, is not under any 
concern about the ftate of his own foul, and will undoubt- 
edly be found among thofe who, while they are bufy about 
many things, do yet neglect the one thing neccftary. The 


384 «!E CHRtSTIAWs »UTT. 

Lord commands it, and our foul's cafe requires it, that we 

commune with our own hearts, Pfal: iv. 4, andlxxTvii. 6* 

(».) Whatdifcourfe have ye with thr Lord? Have ye 
any converfe with tht Lord ; any convfcrfe* in prayer* in 
meditation, or ejaculation ? If ye have none, then forely 
never were ye under any concern about his fervice; and if 
ye have any converfe with him, if ye fpeak to the Lord* and 
this be not the thing ye have been (peaking to the Lord 
about, it fpeaks you not under any concern : for we find 
faints have been ever rooft concerned about this ; and, in 
the account we have of the faints' exercife, we fee clear Jy 
the moft of their words employed about this. 

(3.) What converfe, what difcourfe have ye, when ye 
meet with the Lord's people ? is it what may be fome way 
fubfervient to this glorious end ? Are your words employed 
in telling what God has done for your foul, or in learning 
what he has done for others ? " Come here, all that fea«r 
God, and 1 will tell what he has done for my foul/' Pfal. 
Ixvi. i&. 

(4.) What fort of difcourfe like ye bed to keep up ? is 
it about this great concern ? or is it about any thing elfe ? 
Look to it, that converfe that ye like beft, is like to fpeak 
what your foul is under the greater} concern for : if it be 
converfe about the world, ye are lovers of this world 5 if it 
be about the faults of others, and the public, pride predo- 
minates ; if it be mainly about your own fouls, it fpeaks 
fo me what of concern about them. But now, in the 

4. And loft place, we (hall look to your deeds* that we 
lmy (ee what it is that lieth neareft your hearts, and whether 
ye be under any due concern for religion, and your own re- 
ligion. And here, 

• (1.) I would aik yon, What work put ye your hands to ? 
Is it the work of your falvation ? We are bid " work out 
onr own falvation with fear and trembling," Phil. ii. 12. 
Now, is this the work ye employ yourfelves about ? or, 
are ye bufy about other works, while this is neglecled ? 
1 fear, with moft, this is but little heeded : ay, but 
if ye were under a true concern about your own religi- 
on, then, [ 1.] There would be much time employed about 
that which directly tends to, and, one way or other, has 
fomewhat of an immediate influence upon your falvation. 
And, [2,] All our works would be done in a fubfervien- 


cyto imYetuL Now, is. it fo with jou, er not ? Do ye 
pray hard, andwreftle earaeftly with the Lord about your 
foul's ftate ? Are ye much in believing, much in mortifying 
fin, holding under the body of fin ? Is this the work jc are 
iufied about ? Some of you, we fear, never thought abeut 
this, work ; and as far you, it is no hard matter to tell what 
your cafe is, ye are yet Grangers to any real concern about 

(2.) What work are ye mod diligent about ? what is it 
that ye apply your might to ? Do ye " give all diligence 
to make your calling and election fure ?" 2 Pet. i. 10. ; 
or, are there not among you, who in any other bufinefs will 
work hard, toil fore about it, but if once ye be put to work 
-about this matter of the higheft importance, ye prefenrly 
fall dead and lifekfs, to fuch a degree, that all is prefently 
•out of cafe with you ■; ye are weary, before well begun, of 
any work that has any near relation to your own falvation. 
If this be your cafe, then ye are under no real concern about 
your teligion. 

' (3*) What work are ye mod concerned to have carried 
forward, and brought to fome comfortable period ? Can 
( ye not be well enough pleafed, if your other bufinefs frame 
well with you, and go right in yo/ir hand, though the work 
of -your falvation lie behind i or, dare ye fay, that no at- 
tainment in falvation-work is able to fatisfy you, till you 
.reach the recompenceof reward ? Do ye indeed forget the 
things that are behind, and prels forward unto this ? Can 
nothing (hart of. aflu ranee, as to > our. calling and election, 
pleafe you ? if fo, it bodes well ; and if otherwife, it makes 
a fad difcovcry «of want of a fuitable regard to that which 
ye indeed ought to be mainly concerned about. Surely he 
that can reft Satisfied, though falvation-work be far behind, 
provided other things go well, is not under an equal concern 
for falvation and for ihefe things ; the other things are cer- 
tainly preferred by him. 

Now, if ye have been ufing your judgments in any mea- 
sure, ye may know whether ye be, or have been, under any 
real concern about your own falvation, or whether ye 
have made your own religion your fir ft and great concern : 
-and therefore we fhall proceed to fpeak fome thing in a more 
particular way, to the feveral forts of perfons oi which this 
aiTcmbJy may confift. And here we ihail fpeak, 


\fl> To thofe who tie uodcc no real concfere, "whether 
•about their own religion or chat of others. 
. xdlj x To thofe whofe religion lies 4m«y&» or *w**fy 9 in a 
•concern about orheis, and about the public* 

$dfy. To thofe who are indeed under a deep voAfpttud 
concern about their own religiotv: the public tfnty would 
: rarn haverifeht; bujt their -exercife u x &t& y tcvbe fuse that 
they themfelves are fo, and then they contribute their (hare 
to put matters otherwife right* 

jyblyt We fhall apply this ttath to all* in temi exhortations 
fuitable to the (cope of the truth inMed on. 

Now, of each of thefe we (hall {peak, very (hortiy. 
And, .«..'. 

Fiffti We are to begin with thofe who are under no 
concern about religion; and to fuch we (hall {peak fome 
things, i/?, For conviction, %dly % Expoftulation. And, yllj% 

And to follow this order, ift % We (hall fpeak fome things 
for your conwiftion ; though this be the cafe of moft of you, 
yet we fear few of you will tfcke with it : and therefore, 
notwithstanding all chat has been already laid for your con- 
viction, we fhall yet offer two or three words more. And, 

(i.) We fay, men and women, did religion ever. take up 
your hearts and heads? was it ever really your-exerciie, to 
know whether ye were right or wrong ? Did ye ever put 
-it to the trial, whether ye were Satan's (laves, the devil's 
raffals, or the fervants of the Lord? if not, to this very 
day ye are Satan's fervams, and never had any concern 
about religion. 

(i.) Did ye -ever lay down this concUifion, 1 am loft, un- 
done, miferable, wretched, blind, and naked, I want faith, 
I want grace, I want-God, 1 want Chrift, 1 have deft royed 
myfclf? If not, then ye never have been under any concern 
of a right fort. 

(3.) Did ye ever refolve upon it, that go the world as it 
will, and come what will, I have no concern like my foul ; 
and therefore 1 (hall never be at reft, or take eafe, or be 
quier, until I get matters in fome meal u re right betwixt the 
Lord and me ? If ye have not been brought -under fome fuch 
refolutions as this, from a conviction that all is of no avail 
to you, if ye lofe your foul; then fu rely to this very day, 
ye are perfeel Gallios in God's matters, and your own. moft 
precious iuterefts* (4.) Can 


• {4. J Can any thing give thee content, while thou liyeft 
altogether at peradvemures about falvation, about Chrift ? 
Then yet haft thou reafon to fear, that thou haft never bc:n 
concerned about that which thou can ft be pleafcd without, I 
mean falvation, and an intereftin Chrift. 

. zdljy Having offered Come things by way of conviction, 
ire (hall now a little txpofitdate with you. And, 

(1.) Can ye be, were ye ever concerned about any thing ? 
Did ye ever think ferioufly, fpeak ferioufly, or act ferioufly 
about any thing? If not, thou art certainly a fool, a. mad* 
man* If thou haft, then, 

(2.) Man or woman, is there any thing equally worthy 
of thy concern, as the falvation of thy foul ? vVhat art 
thou profited if thou gain a world, and lofe this ? And 
mayeft not thou be happy if rhou fave this, though thou lofe 
a world ? 

. (3.) Thinkeft thou, then, to fave this without concern ? 
Think it not; for not only muft thou ft rive, muft thou run, 
but every running, and every ft riving, will not do the bufi- 
nefs; and therefore thou mull fo drive* and fo run, that ye 
may obtain. 

(4.') Is it not thy wifdom to prevent that, which) if once 
it come, cannot be remedied, I mean the lofs of thy foul \ 
Know " the foul's redemption is precious, and ceafes for 
ever/' Pfah xlviii. 9. 

(5.) Canft thou, wilt thou fit unconcernedly, when God 
\% finking thee into a fea of brimftone, as now thou doft when 
he is threatening to do it ? If not, bethink thy (elf in time, 
ere it be too late. 

• (6.) Are ye not afharaed to be unconcerned about this, about 
which all others are Jo deeply concerned ? and yet none of 
them have fo great an intereft in the matter as » ye. The 
devil is concerned ; he goes about feeking whom, he ma/' 
deftroy. Will not ye be concerned about the prefervation 
of that which he and all his inftruments are fo much con* 
.oerned to deftroy ? Minifters are concerned ; they preach, 
they pray, they fweat, they think, they toil, many a trem- 
bling heart have they for fear of your ruin. They fpend 
their time and ftrength about your falvation, while many 
times they fear, that by this m^ans their own falvation be 
neglected. And now, whether, I pray, have ye or they 
molt concern in this, matter ? They may, if they be faith. 

F f ful. 


ful, yea, they will go to heaven, whatever come of you; 
are ye then mad, fo far to overlook your own great intercft f 
God it concerned : can ye doubt of it, while he is held 
forth in thergofpel, as bleeding, dying, weeping, fweating 
blend, and all to prevent yoar ruin ? Can \c doubt of it, 
while he h heard inviting, calling, entreating, proraiOng, 
offering, protecting, nay, and even f wearing, his concern 
in the matter : " As 1 lire faith the Lord, I have no plea- 
fare in the death of him that dictb, 'faith the Lord Gcd,'* 
Efcek. xviii. 32. and xxxiti. n. And what need has God 
oi any of vou ? « Can ye be profitable to him, as he that 
is righteous is profitable unto himfelf ?" Confider thit, and 
be aftiarned, and horribly confounded, O carelefs uncon- 
cerned fouls! 

3Y/r, We now come to fpeak a word for terror to you : 
know then for certaifi, 

(1.) That foul which ye will not be concerned to fare, 
re (hall lofe : and will any thing make up the lofs ? what 
will ail the world profit you, while ye have loft a precious 
foul, without hope of recovery ? 

(2 ) That damnation which ye were not careful td pre- 
vent, (hall be your portion ; and who among yon « can 
dwell with everlafting burnings ? who among you can dwell 
with devouring fires V 

(3.) Thefe things which now ye are concerned about, and 
purfue with fo much eagernefs, (hall be your everlalting 
tormentors, and what profit will ye have of thefe thing?, 
whereof then ye will be aftiarned ? 

(4 ) When all this mifery (hall come -open you, there 
(hall not rje any concerned for you ; when this (hall come 
upon you, then who (hall be forrowfal, or lament for you ? 
God will " laugh at your calamity, and mock when you* 
fear comettu The righteous alfo (hall fee, and fear, and 
fhall laugh at him, faying, Lo this is the man that made 
not God his ttrengih, but trotted in the abundance of hit 
riches, and (trengthened himfelf in his wickedaefs," Pfal. 
lit. 6, 7. -But we proceed. 

$windlj% The next fort of perfons to whom we prom i fed 
to fpeak, are they who are indeed under fame concern for 
religion, but their main concern feems fo be about public 
matters, the carriage of others, and tnifcarriages of thofe 
who are in any public truft ; and they relifh oonverfe about 



iMs mod of ally and fpcnd mod of their time this way. 
What we are to fay to thofe, is not to difluade any from a 
doe regard to the public, but on defign to obviate fome 
dangerous extremes. Nov?, to fuch we fay, 

i. Whatever any may account of you, ye have reafon to - 
fufpett and be jealous of yourfelves : we have flic wed, from 
the word of the Lord, that where there is any thing of a 
itneere regard to the Lord's fervice, it will (hew itfelf, (i.) 
In a deep concern to have, and keep matters right at home ; 
and (ince your main concern lies another way, truly your 
religion, thoagh your pretences be never fo high, or the 
thoughts of raiaifters or others never fo favourable, Is de- 
fer ve41y fufpicious> and you have rtafon to doubt it ; and 
I will tell you fome of the grounds whereon, (i.) lam 
ftiieyour hearts are, as well aa thefe of others* " deceitful 
above all things, and defperately wicked)" and would wil- 
lingly deceive you. (2.) lam no left fure> that while you 
are orach abroad in obferving others* and ltttle at home ia 
fel £. fear ching/ and felf-condemning, they have afpecialad*- 
▼antage for deceiving you, which they, no doubt, will not 
lafe. fo.) Your diftike or light eftcem of thofe things 
which fpeak a fpiritaally healthy confiitution, with your 
liking to thofe things that difcovcr a vitiated fpiritual palate 
and fenfes, gives me ground to fear you are not right. 
When people love notfo well to hear the fweet and plain 
truths of the golpel, as continual reflections upon public 
failings, it difcovers a fpirit embittered and rankled, and 
not under the due itnpreffiona of its own deep concern in the 
plain gofpel'tmths : <* As new-born babes, defire the fin* 
cefe milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby ; if fo be 
•ye have tafted that the Lord is gracious," i Pet. ii. 2, 3. 
When once people begin to weary of the preaching of 
Chrift, and him crucified, and of hearing the wayW lalva* 
tion r the means of falvation, the marks of grace, aneVfool* 
cxercife, the Lord's work and way of tranflating fouls out 
of darknefs into his marvellous light, and of carrying on 
the work of falvation to a blelTed period ; when oner, I fay, 
this cannot be heard, and nothing is rclifhed but debates, 
though about truth's, and precious truths of God, I mull 
fay, their religion is, if not quite wanting, yet very low. 
(4,) I am much afraid of: fuch, becaofe pride is ftrong in 
them, and ia eacou raged in both its part**. It confiAsin low 



thoughts of others, and high thoughts of ourfclves': Now} 
both thefc parts of pride arc ftrengthened ; for, [i.} What 
way can be more effectual to fink others in oor own efteem, 
than always to pry into, difcourfe of, and judge them for 
their faults, real or fuppofed ? Again, [2.} What can raife 
us higher in our own conceit, than to look little into our 
own hearts, thefc filthy finks of fin ; to look at ourfclves," 
when, like Jehu, we appear very far beyond others in zeal 
for the Lord, and to compare ourfelves with others, when 
we have debafed them as low as we can ? Thus is pride fed ; 
and where it grows ftrong, a*l grace will Ianguifh : " God 
refifteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble," 
James iv. 6. Much more might be added, upon the tnoft 
clear fcriptu re- evidences : but we go on. 

1. We fay to fuch,' However fpecious like your feryicet 
have been, you have reafon to be jealoos of them, and to 
tear the want of an ingredient that will fpbil all, I mean, 
finglenefs as to your aim. Many are deceived as to this; mat- 
ter ; and ye have reafon to be afraid. If the tree be naught, 
a flu redly the fruit is fo tcoj and what ground ye have to 
fufpecl the former, we have hinted juft now : tear there* 
fore the latter. A fquint look to a by-end, will be a dead 
fly ; it will make the fineft ointment (link ; and God knows 
there is ground to fear, that there may be fome fuch by 
look. What we might offer for clearing of this muft be 
parted by ; for our defign will not allow us to enlarge upon 
thofe particulars. 

3, We fay to you, Look to yourfelves ; for whenever 
tr) ing times come, you will be meet tools for the devil to 
make ufe of, to ruin the church of God. The church has 
ever fuffcred more by falfe friends, and the miftakes of the 
really godly,' cfpecially when going to this extreme, than by 
cpen enemies ; and 1 will tell you feveral grounds upon 
which I am apt to think, that ye will err and wander "from 
the way, and that to your own wounding, and to the wound- 
ing of the church. (1.) Your carriage cafts you without 
the reach of God's promife, of guiding in fuch times. It 
is the humble, and not the felt- conceited Chriftian, that the 
Lord will guide : « The meek will he guide in judgment, 
the meek will he teach his way," Pfal. xxv. 9. (2.J You 
will be eafily perfuaded to neglect the means of guidance, 
J mean, ah attendance upon Ch rift's faithful minifters. Ibis 



fort of people have many prejudices againft minifter?, and 
it is estfy to drive them to the height of deferting their rai- 
nittry ; and then furely they are an eafy prey to every fe- 
ducer, and to every fancy. Chritt's direction to his fpoufe 
at noon, that is, in times of adverfity, and when it is hard 
to know who is right, or w>.o is wrong, is to keep elofe by 
faithful minifters. " If thou know nor, O thou fair.nt 
among women, go thy way forth by the footltep* of the 
flock, and feed thy kiJs befide the fhepherds tent*, 1 ' Cant* 
i. 9. (3.) In that time offences will abound : and if thou 
wilt break thy neck upon the faults, either of minifters or 
of Chrillians r thou wilt not want ftumbling. block*, and the 
devil wiH be lure to improve them air, to nurfs you op ia 
the good conceit thou haA: entertained: of thyfelf, and in 
undervaluing thoughts of others* Mafijrraorc of the like 
fort we pafs* 

4. I (hall leave you,, with this one awful warning, who* 
have any hankering toward this extreme : Beware leit, while 
ye cxped: to be rewarded of the Lord for your public zeal 
and concern, ye be damned for want of perfonal godlinefs* 
Read* «confider, and tremble, at that awful beacon of the 
Lord's holy jealoufy in this fort : " Many will fay to me 
in that day, Lord,. Lord, have we not prophefied in thy 
name I and in thy name caft out devils ? and in thy name 
done many wonderfiri works ? And then I will profefs unto 
them, I never knew ye; depart from me, ye that work 
jfixquity,**" Matth. vii. 22, 23. Here are men far forward 
in public appearances, and >et damned for want of perfonaf 
gbdlineff. For the Lord's fake, remember, and fear that 
ye fall not into the like condemnation. Neglect not the 
public: but O begin at home, and employ your fir ft and' 
great care there; aud when ye go abroad, be Aire ye keep 
within your own fphere. But, 

Thirdly, Leaving this fort of people, Tcomej in the next 
placed, to fpeak a word to fuch as are indeed under a deep 
concern, and that fir ft and. mainly about their ownYoul', 
though they dare not forfake Zion; with Jolhua, they 
would have all Ifrael chute the Lord : but whatever come 
of this, one thing they take care to be furc oft that they 
themfelves are God's fervants. Now, to fuch we haveon* 
ly a few words to fay. 

ju Sirs,, whatye-have, hold fair. Say againft this order 
£f 1 w.ho> 


who will, we dare fay it is God's, and will be owned by 
him ; and if ye hold on, I dare in God 's name fay unto 
you, that ye (hall be helped, and honoured to (land by him, 
when others, whofe pretences are high, will turn their back 
on him : ye (hall bring forth your fruit in its feafon, as the 
tree planted by the rivers of water, Ffal. i. 3. 

2. I fay to you, Beware of fuch as would divert you 
irom this courfe : hold at a diftance from fuch whofe conver- 
fation has any tendency to beget prejudices againft a gofpel- 
roinittry and ordinances* A (Tu redly their Heps take hold, of 
death, and lead to it, pretend what they will; God never 
ordained his babes to live without milk, and fome to feed 
them alfo. If once ye be prevailed with to difguft your 
food, all will quickly go wrong with you: if you want 
it a while, hunger villi go o£ and you will be filled with 
wind, and will not be aware till ye juft die. If ye have 
got any good of rainiftcre and ordinances, I fay to you, 
hold by them, a ware of any thing that may deprive 
you of the advantage of them, or leflen your benefit by 
them. Deferring ordinances will entirely deprive >ou of 
the advantage ot them, and prejudices nourifhed againft 
them will make your advantage Iefs. 

3. Beware of fpending your time, and of fuch as would 
draw you to fpend your time in love •killing, and prejudice* 
hatching debates : " Only by pride cometh contention! but 
with the well advifed is wifdom/' Prov. xiii. 10. 

4. For the Lord's fake, make earned: of growing in 
religion. What ye have happily begun, take no relt till 
it come to a bletfed iflue : << Prefs forward toward the prize 
of the high calling of God in Chrift. Forget the things 
that are behind, and prefs forward. Give all diligence to 
make your calling and election Aire. Work out the work 
of your falvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it 
is God who worketh in you to wifl and to do of his good 
pleafure. And ye (hall undoubtedly reap in due time, if ye 
iaint not. 1 now proceed, 

Fourthly, To (hut up the whole ,.in a few words oiexkarta~ 
Hon to all. We had fome thoughts of branching thil ex- 
hortation out into feveral parts; and we indeed juftty might 
do fo : but defigning to conclude this fecond du&nnc pre* 
fently, we (hall wrap all up in one. 

is it fo, that fuch as have aaj real regard unto the honour 



of the Lords do make their own religion their fir ft and 
great concern ? Then, ray friends, Jet me, in the fear of 
the Lord, befeech, in treat, and obteft you, to be concerned 
about your own religion : make this fure by any meant : 
ferve ye the Lord, take others what coutfe they will : 
and even begin at this; make this your firit and great care* 

i* This is the foundation of all ; and as the foundation is 
right or wrong, fo it will fare with the whole fuperftruc- 
tiire* This is the roct, and as it is good or evil, fo will 
the fruit be ; this is the fpring, and if any thing be amifs 
here, all the ft reams will partake in the evil and hurt ; O 
therefore by any means make all right here. 

*. Make this your fir* and great concern, for it will 
be herein, and with refpeel to this mainly, that ye will 
be tried ; all the trials that the Lord brings on his pea- 
pie, do dill try this, how matters are here, whether the 
foundation be right laid, and how far the work is carried 

3. Death and judgment will be comfortable or bitter, as it 
is right or wrong with you in this refpecl. Your falvation 
and damnation depend upon it : " He that he lie ret h not 
(hall be damned ; he that believerth (hall be faved." He 
that for his own part betakes not himfelf to the Lord 
Jefus Chrift for falvation, in the gofpel- method, (hall afc 
fu redly be damned, come of others what will. 

4. Make this your fir ft and great care ; for truly the de. 
feci of this is the fpring and true fource of that lamentable 
defect of family-religion, and of a due concern for the pub. 
Jic, which is matter of deep concern to ell that fear the 
Lord this day. What ! is it any wonder that the man that 
takes no care of his own foul, be unconcerned about the 
fouls of others > How can he, that is polling to the pit him* 
fclf, take care of others, and endeavour to pre ferve then 
from running to their own ruin ? Never will any reafonable 
jnaa believe, that he who goes on in fin himfelf, will, in 
his ftarion, be really zealous for repreifing it in ethers. Un- 
lefs we prevail with you to be concerned about your own 
fouls, we defpair'of getting you any way ferions in reform- 
ing your families. 

5. Make this yo«r firft and great care; for this will help 
you to employ your seal the right way* in reforming others* 


j 44 ™2 CHRISTI A \'»i DUTY, 

ic will make you firft concerned for thtir fouls, and to have, 
them built upon the Cure foundation. lti» the folly of forte 
profelDr* to be always for debating, when they come into 
convention with perfons that they fuppofc, and it may be 
not without ground, are Grangers, nay* and enemies tore* 
li^ton ; and that not fo much to bring them to acquaint- 
ance with the power of religion, but to be of their judg- 
ment, in fome points of controverfy that are toffed in the 
day we live in, which I do conft fs are of very great mo- 
ment. But here they miftake; for they fhould firft endea- 
vour to bring the man ur.d?r a real concern about his foul ; 
and then you have brought him one ftep towards the em- 
bracement of any principle or practice that is according fa 
godlincfs: and if ye gain not this point with a eracetefs 
man, a man that is not cxercifed to godlinefs, it is of no* 
great confequence what his profeffion bs, Papifly Prelatift r 
Prefbyterian, or any thing elfe; for be will be true to no 
proteflion : it is not a real principle that holds him ; and 
he is ready to be, upon any temptation, a fcandal to that 
way which he cleaves to. O make your own religion your 
firft and great care, and this will learn yon whereto begin 
with others. 

6. O make perfonal religion your firft and great concern; 
for, alas! here it isthar the main defect is among you. We 
have oft complained, and we have daily new reafo'n to com* 
plain of you, that many atlealt among you are goin^in the 
broad and moft patent roads to the pit, fome in that of'ig- 
norance of God, -others in that or drunkennefs, fbrac in' 
that of abominable oaths, and fwinifh. lulls, and others in 
that of devilifh revenge and contentions, always leading 
down to death and deftruclion, and that openly. I know 
moft have long lince laid down a conciufion, that they 
(hall have peace, though they Walk in the way of their 
own hearts, adding drunkennefs to thrift, one fin-to another* 
But aflu redly ye are deceived : " Be not deceived : thus 
faith the Lord, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adul- 
terers, nor ef&mi.iate, nor abufer9 of therofelves with man* 
kind, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revile rs, nor ex- 
tortioner*, ihall inherit the kingdom of God," i Cor. vi. 
9, 10. And the fame (lull be the fate ofcurfers and fwear- 
crs : «' Then laid he to me, *This is the curfe that goerh 
forth over the face of the whole eajth; fox every one thai 



ftealeth (hall l>e cut off as on this fide, according to it; 
and every one that fweareth (ball be cut off as 'on that 
Me, according to it. I will bring it forth, faith the Lord 
ofhofts, and it (hail enter into the houfe of the thief,- and 
into the hqofe of him that fweareth falfely by my name. 
And it (hall remain in the mid ft of his houfe, and (balloon* 
fume it, with the timber thereof, and the (tones thereof,"" 
Zecb. t. 3, 4. Now, are there not fuch among you? 
Are there not. unclean perfons, f wearers, drunkards, and 
the like, ? And ye who are fuch, have not ye 
need to be concerned to be religious ? Sure ye have none 
as yet. And now, to bring this home to you, let me pofe 
you npon three things. (1.) Do ye believe that the words 
ye have heard are the words of God ? If nor, then be gone,, 
yon have nothing to do here. . If ye do, then, (2.) Do ye 
hope to get to heaven, when God has faid, ye (hall never. 
get there I If ye do, ye are mad : if ye hope to get heaven 
in fpite of God, aflurediy ye, are mad; and if ye believe; 
there is a heaven, and yet live in that which ye know will 
debar yon thence, ye arc mad. indeed. (3.) If God, by a 
gofpcl-difpenfation, prevail not fo far with you, as to make 
yon leave the open road to hell, is he like to prevail with 
yoo, to bring you over to a compliance rfith the gofpel* 
call entirely i No, no, furely no. My friends, look in 
time; for, at the Lord liveth, ye are in imminent danger, 
danger greater than ye are well aware of; and whether ye 
will hear, or whether ye will forbear, know, that if ye die, 
your blood is on your heads; ye have got warning* Take 
warning, and make perfonal religion indeed your firfl and 
great concern. 

7. O mike yoor own religion your firft and great care ;. 
for here many are deceived; many have a name to live, 
who are dead, and appear to be fomethingi who yet, when 
weighed in the balance of the fan&uary, will be found 
wanting, and have a Tekel writ upon them. 
• 8. To add no more, confide r fcrioufly how fad a deceit 
in this matter is. O terrible deceit, to miftake heaven, 
and inftead of it. to flip into, hell! To miftake .the broad 
road, and think it the narrow ! How terribly' will the pooj 
deluded fouls, that fwell with the hopes or heaven and glo- 
ry, look, when, inftead of falling into the rivers of $ea- 
lore, they (hall fink like lead in the mighty waters of God's 


holy, jdr» and terrible indignation againft fin ! As ye would 
not meet with this terrible disappointment, look to your* 
ielves; make Aire your own religion.; lay the foundation 
well, and then ye may have peace, and ifteLotrd will cfta^ 
blifh it. Now, for your direction, I ihail only offer two 
or three (hort words* 

i. Bring yourfelves to the light, to the ftandard of God's 
word» and try yourfelves by that which is the true .reft, the 
balance of the fancluary, the counfel of the Lord, which 
(hall (land. 

■ 2. Whatever judgment the word paiTes on you, though 
it read your name amongft the black roll of thofe who *t* 
doomed to the bottomlefs pit, hear it, and believe it, for 
aflu redly the fcripture cannot be broken* 

3* Cry to the Lord, that he may give his Spirit to open 
your eyes, to know how matters are with you. 

4. When God, by his word and Spirit, has wounded 
you, wait upon him for cure, in the fame way ; for it ia 
(hence alfo you mult have your acquaintance with the bkf* 
fed Phyficiaa, JefusChrift, in whom alone your help is. 

' Having thus inilhcd thefecoad do&rinfyl now proceed to 

. Doct» III. « Such as are facerely religious themfelves, 
will take care that their families, and all whom they can 
have any influence upon, be fo too." Or (hortiy thus : 
« Such as are fincere will be really careful to maintain fa- 
mily, religions" But as for me and my bamfa nnt wall fitwt 
the Lord* 

Which (hews us, (1.) That God requires houfhold reli. 
gion, even that we and our boufes ferre the Lord. : New, 
what is not required, or commanded, cannot be fenr ice 
done to the Lord, (a.) That we, and our houses oi fa* 
milies, ftiould join in, or perform jointly, fome .part of fer- 
vice to the Lord. (3.) That a matter of a family is called 
to take care of, and may engage fome way for his houfe or 
family ferving the Lord. > 

Now, in the further profecuting of this point, we fhall 
fhewr vou, 

1. Wherein family, religion lies. 
JJ# Whence it is, that fuch as are fincere, are fi much 



umcented about it, as we here find Joihua, and others of the 
faints in fcriptuie. 

L Npw, we begin with xYitfirft; and (hall onlyliere ob- 
ferve, that family* religion coniifta of three pans, or is com* 
prehenfive of the three following particulars : i. Family. in. 
ftruftion. 2. FamilywworflMp* 3. family-government, or 
order. And about thefe it it that a religions mailer will 
be concerned; and he that is not in fome mcafure carefully 
exercifed in thefe- tfrree; there ispeafon to fear. he has no 
religion. Now, we fhall a little ©pen thefe three unto 
yoo. And> 

\ . We fay, that family-lnftmQiw *s that which fuch at 
ate Sincerely religious will be careful of. A flu redly there 
will be nothing that will lie nearer the heart of a confoien-i 
tions mafter of a family, next to -the falvation of his own 
foul, than the falvation of his family, his children and fer- 
vants ; and one great part of his care will undoubtedly dis- 
cover itfelf this wav, in a deep concern to have them acco- 
fJteTy inftrufted in the knowledge of their duty toward God, 
their neighbour, and themfelves; and, in a word, the whole 
of that knowledge which is neceffary, in order to their 
walk with God here, and their enjoyment of God hereaf- 
ter. And this part of family- religion we find the Lord 
very punctual and exprefs in commanding, Deut. vi. 6, 7, 
8, 9. « And thefe words which I command thee this day* 
(hall be in thine hearr, and thou (halt teach them diligently 
onto thy children, and (halt tV»k of them when thou (Jfteft 
in thine houfe, and when thou walked by the way, and 
when thou Heft down, and when thou rifeftup: And thou 
(halt bind them for a fign apon thine hand, and they fhaH 
be as frontlets between thine eyes ; and thou (halt write 
them upon the pofts of chy houfe, and on thy gates," In 
which obferve* ijf t Perfonal religion enjoined: ** They 
(hall be in thine heart/* 2d/y, Doroeftic religion : ** Thou 
fcalt teach them diligently/' Here alfo we have a plain 
account of this firft part of family- religion, and a clear 
command for it ; we fee who they are about whofe inftruc- 
tion we are to concern ourfelves^ it is our children, and 
thofe who are in our houfe, that is children and fe'rvants ; 
for under the notion of children fervants are frequently com- 
prehended* as particularly in the fifth command. There it 



it agreed by all, that under that of parent and child, all re- 
lations, and particularly m after and (errant, are comprehend* 
ed. We fee alfo the manner how this duty is to be mana- 
ged, and that is diligently. And this is yet more particu- 
larly opened, as to the ways and reafons wherein we are to 
evidence our diligence, andfpecial care of the inft ruction of 
ihofe under oor charge. Now, two ways we ought to 
manage this piece of family- religion. And, (i.) By. pre- 
cept : (2.) By our walk. We ought to teach them dili- 
gently both ways ; we ought to inculcate and carefully preis 
upon them the knowledge of the Lord; and what we thus 
u-achthem by word, we ought ftrongly to enforce by a 
fuitable walk. Parents and ro afters mould be in cafe to fay 
to their children and fervants, with Gideon in another cafe, 
*' Look on me, and do likewife," Judg. i. 17.; and with 
the apoftle, Phil. iii. 17. " Be followers together of me, 
and mark them which walk fo, as ye have us for example." 
Then are children and fervants like to be won over to a com* 
pliance with the will of the Lord in his word, when it is 
not only clearly held forth to them in word, but when alfo 
it is pointed forth in a lively and fpeaking example* If the 
Spirit of God gives us ground, as it does, 1 Pet. iii. r. to 
believe that a holy and mining converfation, without the 
word, may prove effectual towards the winning over of un- 
believers toward the emb fa cement of religion, what may 
we expect, if the word and fuch teaching be joined together ! 
Surely we might think to fee fomewhat elfe than what is to 
be ieen at this day. And O how hard will many find it to 
anfwer for their defects here, in that day, when they (hall 
fland at the bar of God ! Nay, would to God we might 
not fay, for their direct conteracting duty, in both thefe 
refpects, while inftead of inftructing them in the fear of the 
Lord, by example and precept, they run them forward, to 
a courfe of fin by both ! O prodigious villainy 1 and yet 
common among men, among Chriftians ! 

2. Family -nvorjbip is comprifed under family religion, as 
a principal part of it ; every family mould be a little church 
unto the Lord : and fo we find mention made of the church 
of God in houfes, or of families beings churches unto the 
Lord, " Greet (or falute) the church that is in thine houfe," 
Rom. xvi. 5. and elfewhere; and, part all doubt, every 
family ought to be a church, wherein God mould be fo- 
1 lemalr 


lemnly worshiped, both on ordinary and extraordinary oc- 
eafions ; fo Job's hoofe was, Job. i. $. Now, of tbis 
family -worfhip, the more ordinary parts ate three : 

(1.) Solemn invocation of the name of God by prayer. 
Our Lord teaches us to join together in prayer, by putting 
the perfons praying in the plural number in the Lord's 
prayer^ •« Our rather which art in heaven." Again, . 
« Give us this day our daily bread." Our dependence up. 
on God, not only in our fingle capacities, but as we are 
members of families* requires fuitable acknowledgements of 
the Lord; and oar want of family- mercies requires our 
joining in craving them by prayer from the Lord. Our 
guilt of family- fins requires family-ackowledgements, and 
applications for pardon ; and therefore afTu redly families, 
whether greater, as nations, or leffer, which call not upon 
tbe name of God, (hall have the Lord's fury poured out up. 
ori them, Jer. x. 15. u Ponr out thy fury upon the hca. 
then that know thee not, and on the families that call not 
on thy name." Where by families we are to under Hand ail 
families, whether greater or le fler; for fu rely if nations, in 
their national capacity, be called to worfhip the Lord, and 
call upon his name, fo alfo> leffer families are ; and for their 
jseglect, are liable to the fame vengeance* 

(2.) Solemn reading of the word belongs to family- 
worlhip. What can be more plain to this purpofe, than the 
command we have formerly quoted from Dut. vi. 6. ; and 
this we are to do, that the «* word of the Lord rrray dwell 
in as richly, in all wifdom," CoL iii. 16. 

(3.) Solemn frai/es are alfo required, as a part of family. 
worfhip, and undoubtedly as family- fins and wants call for 
family- prayer, fo family- mercies require family* praifes, and 
brings us under the apoftle's injunction, in that fo recited 
CoL iii. 16. " Let the word of Ch rift dwell in you richly, 
in all wifdom, teaching and admonifhing one another, in 
Pfalms, and hymns, and f pi ritual fongs, tinging with grace 
in your hearts to the Lord. 

3. It remains that we open the third and lair branch of 
family- religion, viz. family -government ; and this lies in 
fcveral particulars : (1.) In commanding the family, chil- 
dren and iervants, to walk in all the ways of obedience. 
This is that which the Lord fo highly praifes in Abraham, 
Gen. xviii. 19. u 1 know him', faith the Lord, that he 
Will command his children^ and hit toutthali i&t\ Vta** 
Gg « 


an J :':cy fluli keep the way cf the Lord/' &c, (2.) I« 
ojiigir.-, by rrjroof, ad; on, and cor reft: en, .fuch as 
are in ;h:- faraily, to aban.lon any thing finful and fcanda- 
lois in ih-ir practice, Gen. *xxv. 2, " Then Jacob faid 
unto !.ii Imife'.jIJ, and to all that, were with him, Pat 
away the ft rang* gods that are among you, and be clean, 
an J charge y:.v. : farmer, is ; and let us arife and go up to Be* 
ihsl ; and 1 will make there an altar unto God, who an- 
|\vered me -In the day of my diftrefs, and was with xne in. 
the way fcl.Lh 1 uent." Here we have an eminent exam* 
pie, bo:h r( family -worffiip, and family. order ; and indeed, 
«:s to the deportment, 1 mi-an, as to the outward man, and 
what L to be feen of fervants and children, we fee from 
ttis fourth command, rhat parents and mailers of families, 
are arcjuntabie for it to the Lord, who has not only enjoin* 
cd thzra to keep t'.ie Sabbath-day, but to take care that all 
within their doors do, (?.) This lies in expelling fuch out 
of the family as do, notwithstanding the ufe of thefe means 
for their reformation, per ft ft in walking contrary to God*. 
" I will walk within my houfe with a perfect heart." Here 
is the faring. See what follows: " He that nalketh io- 
<« perfect way, he (hall ferve me : he that worketh deceit, 
ihall not dwell within my houfe : he thattelleth lies (hall 
not tarry in my fight," Pfal. ci. 2. 6. Here we fee a 
lively character of one that has a true regard to \he mainte- 
nance of family- religion^ How rare are fuch inftanccs in 
our day 1 But leaving ihis, we ihall proceed. 

11. The next thing we propofed, was to fliew whence it iq 
that fuchasare fincerely religious themfelves will be cartful 
to maintain family- religion. We might indeed, for the proof 
of this truth, have mentioned and illuftrated the eminent ex- 
amples of pious care about family* religion, recorded in 
fenpture : but what we are toalledge under thin hea,d will 
fuperfede that, and will fufEciemly prove the doctrine, and. 
ihew, that there is an indiffuluble tie betwixt finceiity a^4 
a regard to this. ■■ . 

j . Then perfons who are themfelves fincerely religious, 
will be careful to maintain family- religion, becaufe they 
have a regard to all God's commands. The authority c£ 
the Lou*, wherever it is damped, binds them to a complU 
ance. Sincerity has for its infeparable companion, a refpeel 
to all God's commands: " Then ihall 1 not be afliamedi 
wbjnlhav: refpeft to all thy cojamrNW VbL cxix. 6 ; . 


And from this rcfpecl to the command it is that a care about 
family- religion flows; for undoubtedly it is a parr of ccm- 
manded duty. We are here told, it it a pfeceof fervicc to 
the Lord ; and what is commanded is only fo. What Vic 
never required, that he will never own a fervice done to 
him ; but what has been alledged from th< word of God un- 
der the former head, puts this beyond difpute. 
' 2: This regard to the maintenance of family- religion* 
flows from the very nature of that fupernatural principle 
wherewith all that are truly fincere are endued, which in 
fcriprore is called, the new hearty a heart of fl'fiy a nenv 
treature % a ne<w fpirit> &c. This principle being fuited and 
framed to an univerfal compliance with the Lord's will* 
srhns at this in all things. They who have it are faid tofce 
« created in Chrift Jefus to good work*," Eph. i?. 10. 
And particularly, as the old heart would be in all refpedts 
independent of the Lord, fo, on the other hand, this new 
heart is ftrongly bent to acknowledge its dependence on the 
Lord, in the ways of his own appointment, in all its way?, 
in all ftations and relations wherein it is put : and hence :s it 
leads to own the Lord in our Angle capacity, fo it leads t:s 
alfo, if we are poflfefled of it, to do fo in our family-capacit) ; 
and, in a word, as it leads us to worfhip and fcrve the Lord 
ourfelves, fo it powerfully influences to lay out oorfclves to 
have all others to ferve the fame Lord, more «fp~ dally fucli 
as we may have influence upon, our children and fervants. 
3. Such as are fincere have an entire love to the Lord, 
and hence a delight in all ordinances, private as well as 
public, and fecretf wherein any mcafure of communion 
with the Lord may be reached. " Lord", fays David, 
M I have loved the habitation of thy houfe, the j lace 
where thine honour dweUeth,"" Pfal. xxvi. 8. The Lord's 
honour dwelleth in all his ordinances,, and in every place 
where, he records His name ; that i*, in every ordinance, 
there he meets with his people, and there he blefleth t! em. 
And indeed by family- religion the Lord is fignally honoured ; . 
for thereby wc, (1.)' Acknowledge, that we hold our- fa- 
milies of the Lord, that it is to him we owe them, and fay 
by our practice what worthy Jacob faid, Gen. xxxii. ic. 
" O God of my father Abraham,, and God of my father 
I r aac, I am not worthy of the leaft of all the mercies, and 
of all the truth which thou haft (hewed unto thy Cec*ai\f % 
for with myilaff' 1 paflVd over this JqiAm^ &x& tvgw Y *m 


become two bands," Again, (2.} We hereb 
families and all that we are, to be ft ill in the r. 
Lord, and at hit fove reign difpofal ; while all tl 
get and mercies we want, and would have or 
would wi(h continued with us, we apply to hii 
by prayer ; and all the evils we would have remo 
vented, we likewife look to him for their remoi 
veniion, acknowledging him the Author of all c 
in the coivir.ual afciiptions of praifes to him. 1 
we acknowledge plainly, that of him, and thi 
sic ell things, in whofe hand is the breath, and 
cjrnmsr.ts of every living thing, who kills and rr 
w Km Is and heals, makes rich and poor. And, 
hereby we own him the uncontrollable Lord of a 
I/'.rd giveth, and the Lordtaketh, and bleffcd r 
of the I/uJ. He doth what pleafed him ; and 
fay to him, What doft thou ?" (3.) Thefe ac 
ments honour God, in that they are public, whe 
glory is mar.ifefred tootrfers, and ihey inftrufte 
cited by example unto the like acknowledgemen 
ed!y> therefore, they who love the place where 
our dwells, and that which contributes toward it: 
tion, as all fincere fouls do, wi;l not dare to r 
family- religion, whereby it is fo fignally further 
4. Such as are fincerely religious will be caref 
tain family. religion, becaufe ihey have a Jinu 
thofe in their houfe. They love their neighbot 
felves ; and no way can love manifeit itfelf roon 
due care for their falvation, leading to the ufe < 
means whereby this is promoted. Memorable t 
pofe are the Lord's words concerning Abraham, 
19. " Fori know him, that he will command] 
a.".d his houfh'itd after him, and they (ball keep 
the Lord, to do juftice and judgment, that the 
bring upon Abraham that which he hath fpok 
Here we have a double connection, very remark: 
connexion betwixt family-religion, a due care 
its fuccefs. He will command, and they thai 
way of the Lord ; he will take due care, and h 
not be in vain : « Train up a child in the way ' 
fhould go, and when he is old be will not depar 
Ordinarily an univerfal care this way is not altog 
out fame influence upoa Com* m \ta Cavaily i 


ftvc one cfaild» one fervant by it, ii not this a rich reward 
for all the attendance we can give to it ? («.) There is a 
connexion betwixt the foccefs and the promifed bie flings : 
«* They (hall keep the way or the Lord, and the Lord will 
bring on Abraham, and his feed, all the good things that 
he has fpoken." So here we fee of how great confequence 
it is to thofe in our families ; it is the way to make them 
jreligious, and that is the way to make them happy- 

5. Such as are fin cere will be careful to maintain family- 
teligton, from the anfeitnee of the charge they have of them.. 
Mailers and parent* have the charge of their families, and 
ate in fome msafure accountable to God for them. Pa- 
rents are commanded to train up then children, and matter* 
to command their ho u {hold to keep the way of the Lord, as 
we fee the Lord's teftimony of Abraham. Thus we fee» 
rn the fourth commandment, the mailer of the family is obli- 
jed to fee to the religions obfervance of the Sabbath by all 
within his houfe, and fo he has a charge for which he is 
accountable to che great God - r and therefore a fincere per- 
ibn looks on him (elf as bound to be careful to main- 
tain the worfhip of God in his family, and amongll thofe 
whom he has the charge of. This made holy Job concerned 
to facrifice fpr his children ^ and the neglect of paternal daty 
in Eli provoked the Lord's difpleafure. 

6\ The care of perfons who are ii nee rely religions to 
maintain family- religion, flows from the force of their fo- 
Jemn engagements and vows to the Lord in their baptifro, 
which are again renewed upon their oifeiing children to the 
Lord in that ordinance* Here they are folemnly and deep- 
ly (worn to be the Lord's, and to walk with God, in and 
before their families, to inftruft them by example and pre-* 
cept. And this forcly cannot be performed where family- 
religion is not taken care of in all its parts. How terri* 
ble will it be to parents and mailers of families, when their 
children and fervants, from generation to generation, fliall 
accufe them as faulty, and the caufe of their want of family- 
xeligion? Indeed, fay they, we never worlhipped God in 
our families; why ? we never faw the worfhip of God in 
our father's or matter's families? How terrible will this be, 
when God (hall hy y Is it fo? haft thou damned thy child,' 
thy fervant? is this the performance of the folemn vows 
which thou tookeft on before* fo many wtavdfeii Hvw 
confounded wilt thoa then look I Oitai \YJ\n%* x^ ^\* v^^ 


pole we may have occafion to toach it afterwards. From 

what has been fa id, it is plain, 

u That all who are fin cere will undoubtedly he carefu-1 
to maintain family- religion. 

i. Whence it is fo. It is from the force of all rhefe tie* 
we have mentioned, and others of the like nature! we roaj 
afterwards have occafion to mention. 

We (hill now make fame practical improvement of thh 
point. And 9 

U/c i. For information. We may draw from it the few 
folia* ing inferences, amongft many. Is it fo, that foch as 
are fin ce rely religious themfelves will be confeientioufly 
careful about family, religion } 1 hen, 

i. We have undoubtedly reafon to fofpecl their religion 
.who are t rifle rs in this matter. Since a fuitable concern about 
our own falvation, and the means leading thereto, leads to 
a doe concern about the fouls of our families, no doubt, 
when we fee perfons trifle here, it gives us ground to be 
jealous, that they are not under a due concern about then 
own foul*. Now, of triflers in this fort, who feem all to 
fall under that heavy curfe that ts pronounced, Jer. xlviii. to. 
agaiaft foch as do the work of the Lord negligently, there 
are three forts. ■ (i.) Such as do the work of the Lord by 
parts. They will, it may be, read a ehapter, but never a 
word of praying, or of ringing praifes to the Lord in theii 
•fa nilies ; tho' there is full as much ground for the one » 
for the othcr^frora the command of God, and from our own 
necefttties. The reading of the word is not like to torn to 
any great or good account to* us, it we jt)in not prayer foi 
the Lord's Spirit, to caufcusto underftand what we read. And 
he well underftood this, who ipent fo- great a part of tha* 
loiig pfalm in praying for light, Pfalm cxrx. 18. «* Open 
mine eyes, that i may fee wonders out of thy law," is a pe- 
tition that mould go along with the reading of the word. 
And indeed praifes ou»ht not to be forgot, and praife will 
be cv*r looked on as comely for the upright : " It is a good 
thing t > give thanks to the narac of the Lord ;" and the 
true way iris to obtain much of him Memorable, above 
jnmy, are the word* of the Pfalmtft to this purpofe, " Let 
the pec^ie praife thee: O G<-d, let all the people praife 
thee." Til ere is the exhortation: well, what follows on 
it? The cnftfing vetfe tells r " Then (hall the earth yield 
her increjfe j and God, cna outQoN, ^W^k^ <it*" P6>. 


Ixvii. 5, 6. All the duties of 'religion, whether domeftic, or 
p-ibliCf or fecret, have a mutual fubferviency to one ano- 
ther, as well as a tendency to promote the defign of all ; and 
therefore one cannot be taken away, without a raanifeft 
wjory done to the reft, and done to the very defign. — Such 
who deal thus are undoubtedly t rifle rs, end are to be ac 
counted contemners of the Lord's authority ; for ajTu redly, 
if it were regard to the Lord's command that made them 
careful of one part, the fame regard and deference to the 
Lord's command would make them perform all the other 
parrs. If we cut and carve, take and leave, as we fee meer, 
"in thofe things which arc equally eitablifhed by rhe Lord, 
we do the work of the Lord deceitfully ; and "curfed is he 
that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully." And, (2.) Sueh 
•are to be accounted fritters as do fcldom worfhip God m 
their families : it may be, on the Sabbath night they will 
"read or iing, or fo, but no more till the next Sabbath. They 
who confine all their religion to the Sibbarh, I dare fay, 
they never kept the Sabbath duly. No doubt, wc ought 
to wormip God in our families daily, we ought to confe/s 
our fins, cry to him for a gracious fupply of all our wants, 
and to pnife him for his mercy towards us. Surely, when 
we are bid " pray always wiih all prayer," Eph. vi. 18.; 
this is at leaft to be understood that we ought to be frequent- 
ly employed in this fort of prayer, as well as any other. 
No lefs can be meant alfo, where we are bid, 1 TheflT. v. 
17. " Pray without ceafing." Undoubtedly, therefore, 
"triflers they are, who do frequently neglr cl, who, upon ev- 
ery trifling ©ccafion, will baulk family religion, while there 
J is every day both a clear call to ir,and a fair occafion for ir. 
The Lord's mercies are new every morning, and fo are both 
our fins and our wants* and therefore fo ought our appli- 
cations to God. «« It is a good thing to give iranks unto 
the Lord, and to fing praifes to thy name, O Moft High: 
to fh?w forth thy loving-kindnefs in the morning, and ihy 
faithfulnefs every night," Pfal. xcii. 1, 2. (3.) Such are 
•trifler?, as» notwithftandi'-.g the clear command we have to 
be " fervent in fpirir, ferving ihc Lord," do )C*, with 
a cold indifference, and even as they were 2flcep, manage 
this work Is this to ferve the Lord with all our flrength, 
with all our heart and foul, as we are commanded ? Nay, 
fure it is nor. Let fuch take heed who thus offer to the 
Lord a enrcafc, a form, who ^\cfcfc \\&Tbfc\*t.\ Vvfcv <***. 


mere performance of the duties, without confidering how 
they are performed; let fuch, 1 fay, look with trembling 
and aftonifhinent to that word of the prophet, " Curfcd 
be the deceiver* that haih in his flock a male, and voweth 
and facriiiceth to the Lord a corrupt thing," MaLi. 14. 

2. We miy draw this inference from it, that fuch ai da 
entirely negkift family* religion are undoubtedly ft ranger* 
to fincerity. Think on this, ye who to this day never bow* 
cd a knee to GkI in your families; undoubtedly, ye arc 
under a miftake as to your caf-* ; and be your thoughts of 
yourfclres what they will, God looks on you as perfona 
void of all religion. For, (1.) Is not family- religion a do- 
ty ? fure it it; all the Lord's people, in all generations*. 
have thought fo ; the Lord has approven them in it. Abra- 
ham, as we have heard, was highly commended for this* 
It is one of the noted evidences, Job i. 5. of the piety of 
Job, of whom God did in a manner glory. It is plainly 
enjoined in the fourth command, as judicious Durham fo- 
liily clears. — But what need I fay more ? It is fo clear* that 
nobody denies it who has any fenfe of religion ; and even 
they who neglect it mult own it a duty. Again, (a.) la 
nor, then, your neglect of it a fin againft light* that is, a 
(in of deeper than ordinary dye, a blacker hoe, and confe- 
quently to be more feverely punifhed by the holy and jea- 
lous God? " He that knows his matter's will* and does it 
nor, is to be beaten with many (tripes." {3.) Is it a fin you 
are onlv once guilty of in your life ? Nay, but it is a fin ye 
are every day guilty of. (4.) And is it confident with any 
thing of the reality of religion, to live in the conftant and ha,, 
bitual aegleft of any duty, or the commiffion of any known 
fin ? Na>, furelv it is nit; for the Lord h plain with us in 
this matter: " He that committeth fin (that is, who lives in 
a courfe of fin,) is of the devil, for the devil finneth from the> 
beginning. Whofoever is born of God, doth not commit 
fin ; for his feed rcmaineth in him : and he cannot fin, be- 
caufc he is born of God," 1 John iii. 8*9. Vain, therefore, 
are all your pretences to any thing of the reality of religion* 
who live in the neglect of family-religion. 

3. Wi may Torn this doclrine learn, whence it is that 
there is fuCh a fad neglecl of family- religion this day. It is 
fro'n a want of fncere perfonal religion. Few there are 
who are themfelves under a due concern about their own 

fouls ; and hence it is that there ace fo few careful about 


the fools of their families. Now, that this flews from a 
defect of perfonal religion, is plain b.»>ond contradic- 
tion, if we confide r, (i.J That where there is that 
fincerlty that will not make afhamed, there undoubtedly 
is to be found a regard, and an equal refi>eti to all God's 
commands : " Then (hall 1 not be afhamed, when 1 have 
refpect to all thy commands," Pfal. cxix. 6. Again, (2.) 
Experience (hews, that they who are negligent in this mat- 
ter, are alfo carelsfs about (heir own fouls. Look to if, ye 
who neglect family- religion ; I fear ye are not careful about 
perfonal religion. He that will eafily baulk and neglect fa- 
mily-prayer, will be already to neglect fecret prayer. This 
is well kndwn in experience. (3.) The very excufes that 
they make afe of for this neglect, fpeak the want of a heart 
to it: for furely, when people are kept from a thing by 
frivolous and trifling difficulties, it is a fign they have no 
great mind to it. 

Objbct* t. Say fame, We cannot pray, we never wew 
taught to pray. 

I anfwer, (1.) If thou meaneft.ihat thou canft not do it as 
thou oughteit, very true; neither canft thou do any duty 2 
wilt thou therefore give over all? (2.) Dtdft thou ever try 
it ? did ye ever fit down with your family, aod make a 
mint at it ? What knoweft thou, but it might have fallen . 
out to thee, at to the mad with the withered hand ? If thou 
hadft made a fair trial to pray, thou perhaps rnigbtcft have 
got ftrength thou didft never expect. It is want of will and 
inclination, not of ftrength and ability chat hinder*. ($4 
Did'ye ever cry to God lo teach you! Did ye- ever with 
the difciples, cry, Matter, pr Lord, teach us to pray ? If 
nor, furely it is want of will that keeps, yon from duty* 
Ye have no mind to it. (4.) Can ye do any thing ? Yes, 
will ye fay, we can work at our ordinary employments. 
Well, but could yoivdo this at fir ft ?. Did ye not come to 
a (kill in rhefe thing?, after many fainter effnyh and pains 
taken to learn? No doubt ye did.. Even fo ye mufl learn 
to pray. (c r ) Have ye any feafe of fatnily^finf, family* 
mercies, ox family- wants ? If ye have, fuse I am, what ye 
are fenfible of, ye can fpeak, Can ye tell your neighbour r 
and may ye not alfo tell thefe things to God ? But, 

Objbct, a. Say ye, When we come before God, we 
rauft fpeak well, and when we come before the great King, 
we mult hive w,ords ia good order ; and now* I cannot or* 
dcr my words ariglfu takW-« 


Axsw. (i.) It is not words that God feeks. Many a 
time hr hus rejeft^d go*>d morels for wane of a correfpondent 
fri:ns o heart, D^ut. v 29 ; but he never rejected a pray- 
er b:c mfe it was not right worded. (2.) I fay. If thy 
words exprefs the real fenriments of thy heart, and thou be 
upon the marter ri^ht, God will pafs by many indecencies 
and failings in th\ r words; fo he did with Job: Job had 
manv lurfh cxprefli «ns concerning God, both to him** and 
of him ; and yer, becaufe he was upon the matter right, he 
partes by thefe failings while he reproves his three friends: 
" Ye have not fpoken of me the things that are right, as my 
iervant job," chap xlii. 6. (3.) In prayer, we add refs God 
as a Father, and we know parents will not quarrel their 
children in nonage, though they lifp and fpeak after their 
own way ; nor will God be worfe than our parents in this 
ref.eit. (4.) Utterance is God's gift, and therefore* 
would ye have it ? to the Lord ye rauft look for it. (5.) Ai 
far as thoa onderftandeft thy needst or the Lord's mercies, 
and art anvcled with the in, in fo far ye will flill find words 
to exprefi your concern ; and if any mab teach you to fpeak 
beyond your undemanding and concern, he teaches you to 
mock God. But, (6.*) lfthie hold it (hikes as well again 11 
fecret prayer, as family. prayer, and fo we mud quit sit 

Object* 3, But fay ye. Ah! I cannot get confidence. 
• A nsw. (i.J Will this exitufe bear you out at God's 
hand? Dare ye make it to him? No, I am fur*,, ye dare 
not. (2.) Whether will it require greater confidence to pray 
before your'family, ortoftand at- the bar of God, and before 
angels and men, and tell ye had never confidence to pray 
in your families ? (3.) This is horrible pride; yc think ye 
cannot pray, fo. as to gain repute ; and becaufe ye cannot 
gain your end, curfed felt, therefore ye rob God of bis glo- 
ry. (4.4) : Whether h it that thou can ft not get confidence 
to pray before men, or before God ? If thou fay thou canft 
not get confidence to pray to God, then ye lb ou Id not pray 
in fecret either, nor yet in public. If thou fay, it is before 
men that thou-art aihamed, then is thij not horrible impic 
ty, to be more influenced by a foolilh regard to man, than 
by a regard to God ? If thou haft confidence to appear be- 
fore God, thou ma> eft eafily appear before men. Place but 
ihyVelf under the eye of God, and fet thyfelf to prayer, and 
then all thoughts of -men m\\ cpkfcA) bt £<me. 


OajttfT. 4. But fay foroe, We cannot get tSine. 
Amsw. (t.) For what has God. given thee time ? was it. 
not to ferve him, to fave thine owr fool, and the fouls of 
thy family ? (2.) Whereon fpend eft tucu »hy time? on thy 
bu fine fa or family* wilt thou anfwer? Well, if fo, this is 
the compendious, : (horteft, and fureft way to carry all for- 
ward. It is the way to get God with yon, then ye will be 
profperous. Finally, It is not true, for there is none of you 
all, but idle away, either upon no bufinefs, or worfe than 
none, more than this would require* Now this much for 
the third inference. 

4. We may from our doctrine draw this inference, That 
minifters have not the only charge, or all the care and charge 
of the fouls of people ; matters of families, and parents have 
aifo a charge. And think on it, God will require at your 
hands the blood of your children, and of your fervants, if 
they perifh through your negligence. Now, that ye have 
the charge, and are anfwerab'.e to God for children and 
fervants, is paft all contradiction. For, (1.) Parents and 
mailers of families have a confide rable in te reft with fer- 
vants and children. Children and fervants pay fomewhat 
of revercnee and refpeft unto their parents and matters, and 
allow them fome intereft in their affection. Now, all this- 
inter eft with them fhould be improveo toward their falva- 
tion* and their engagement in God's fervice. (2.) Not on- 
ly have ye an influence upon them this way, but ye have 
a power of commanding them ; and this fhould be iraprov* 
en like wife towards their engagement in the Lord's way. 
(3.) Ye have frequent opportunities of converting with them* 
and ye are accountable for the improvement of thefe to., 
wards their good ; God exprefsly requiring your care as to 
the improvement of the(e, Deut. vi. 6, 7. Finally, (4.) Pa« 
rents have a charge diteftly given to them ; it is enjoined 
'.< that they tiain up their children in the way of the Lord ;" 
and jo them it is that the Lord enjoins the forming of the 
Under years of r t heir pofterjty, God has placed his teftimo- 
nies amoogft us; and we are all, according to our refpec- 
tive fractions and opportunities, obliged to propagate both the 
knowledge and the practice of them : " He eflablifhed a tef* 
timony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Ifrael, which he 
commanded our fathers, that they (houid make them known 
to their children; .that the generation 10 come jaight know. 


them, even the children which (hould be born, who thonld 

arife and declare them to their children*" PfaL lxttviik 5, 6. 

U/e 2. Of lamentation. This dodrine may be improve!! 
for lamentation, it it fo, that fuch as are rhemfelves fin- 
cerely religious will be confeientioufly careful to maintain 
family. religion ? Then furely we have reafon to lament 
the wofu) neglecl of this duty, and of a doe regard onto it 
in the day wherein we live. That this is either entirely 
neglcded, or lamentably trifled over by the generality of 
parents and readers of families in our days, is, alasi too* 
too evident. For, (1.) Their horrid and abounding igno- 
rance of God fpeaks it out. Were parents confeientioufly 
careful to train up their children from their render years, in 
the knowledge of God, as they are commanded ; were they 
fpeaking to them of the things of God, when they fit in their 
houfe, when they walk in the fields, when they lie down 
and rife up ; and were thefe beginnings cultivated by matters 
ot families, when they get them home robe ferv ants; fure- 
ly there would not be fo much Ignorance of God this day in 
the land as there is. Again, (a.) The abounding impiety 
that there \* in the land, fpeaks few Abrahams to be in it, 
who will command their children and their fervants to walk 
in the ways of the Lord. Magitt rates are no doubt faulty, 
and minifters too; but the rife of all is, the negligence 
of parents and matters of families ; and at their hand will 
the Lord require it. (3.) The impiety of young ones, in 
particular, fpeaks this aloud. O how fadly doth it fpeak 
the wickednefs of parents, when their children do lifp one 
oaths as foon as thty begin to fpeak, when children talk 
obfeenely as foon as they begin to converfe; it tells us, their 
parents have not done, and do not their parr. Finally, It 
is what cannot be denied, it is what ye mud confefs, becaufe 
there are too many witneffes of its truth* even as many chil- 
dren, as many fervants, as many fojourners, as there are in ma- 
ny of your families, as many witneffes there are again ft moft 
of \ ou, that ye either perfectly trifle in this, or totally ne* 
gleft family religion. 

Now, furely we have reafon heavily to lament this, 
and to mourn over it.' For, 

i. It gives us a fad character of the prefent generation. 

It tells us what fort of perfons moft part of parents andmaf* 

tcrs of families are in the day wherein we live, even that 

they are deft it utc of any thing ot tta\ *jft&t\t&&\«t&Gg«&anto 


the Lord and his fervice; and though they be called Chrif. 
tians, yet really they know not Chrift ; nor are they care* 
ful to honour him, or engage others to do it; nay more, 
that they are horribly perjured, becaufe folcmly fworn to 
instruct by precept and example, and even to train up their 
children and families in acquaintance with the Lord ; and 
yet they make no confeieace of performing what they have 
Towed to the Lord ; the raoft high God. 

2. We have reafon to lament this, becaufe ir gives us a 
fad profpecl of the rifing generation. Who fhall form the 
riling generation ? Who mail train them up in the knowledge 
of the Lord, and engage them to the way of the Lord ? It 
may be ye will fay, Let minifters do it. But, ah ! if others 
do not their part» all that minifters can do will not prevail. 
Minifters are little with them; minifters have many to at- 
tend. Minifters are called to preach the word, to attend 
to the exercife of difcipline, and this takes much of their 
work and time. But parents and mailers of families, they have 
lew only to look to, thty are much with them, have more 
intereft with them, and more accefs to notice them ; and 
if they improve not thefe advantage, the rifing generation 
is not likely to tranfmit to their pofterity a good account of 
religion. This generation is ienfibly wdrfe than the former ; 
and we may ex peel the next to be worfe; and God knows 
where this neglect is like to land us ere long, even in down- 
right atheifm. 

. 3. This is a lamentation, and fhall be for a lamentation, 
becaufe of the dreadful and heavy doom it is like to bring 
oa us altogether. Eli's neglect coft him and his family 
dear. What fad things this may in time bring upon parents 
and .children, families, congregations, and nations, God 
only knows. But fure I am, it will make the day of judg- 
ment a terrible day to many of them, when children and 
fervants fhall go, as it were, in fhoals to the pit, curling 
their parents and their matters, who brought them there. 
And parents and matters of families fhall be in multitudes 
plunged headlong into endlefs deft rucl ton, becaufe they have 
not only murdered their own fouls, but alfo embrued their 
hands in the blood of their children and fervants* O how 
doleful will the reckoning be amongft them at that day ! 
when the children and fervants fhall upbraid their parents 
and matters : " Now, now, we mutt to the pit, and we 
have you to blame for it : your cuifed tiaicrcltt TOLtaRs&vt* 
Hh >*\* 


ble negligence, has brought us to the pit. We never fa v you wor- 
fliip Gol yourfelvra, and ye never wor (hipped God in your families. 
Ye di.l not inlliuft us in the way of the Lord, nor train its up to it, 
and now we are indeed ruined and damned for our Ana ; but our 
blood lies at your doors, who might have done much to have faved us 
but did ic not." And, on the other hand, how will the flirieks of. 
parent! fill every car ? " I have damned myfelf, I have damned my 
children, I have damned my fervants. While I fed their bodiet, 
and cloathed their backs, I have mined their fouls, and brought dou- 
ble dimnation on myfelf. O let us mourn over this fad evil, that 
'will undoubtedly have this difinil and terrible iffue, whit can afFc& 
your hearts, if this do not ? 

4. Let us lament what none can ferioufly look npon, and not la- 
ment, even a perifhing generation, a ruined and deftroyed multitude, 
and that not without the moil terrible aggravations of their mifery. 
( 1.} h it n>t lamentable to lee children and fervants fettered in chain* . 
of jar';nrf«j, and referved in "t^em to judgment, to fee them driven, 
as it wee, to damnation and death eternal? (a.) Is it not yet more 
dreadful 1 > Ice them deftroyed by thofe who are under the ftrongeft 
ties to rudej/our their relief ? (3.) Is it not fad to fee them who 
pretend love 1* their chil iren, and fervants, hugging a bit of clay, 
their bodies I m*an, while they are damning their immortal fouls? 
Surely t lis is to he lamented ; and that it is not more policed and be- 
wailed, will ere long occafion a bitter lamentation. But we proceed 
nrxt to 

Vfe 3. Of reproof '; and that, 1, To fuch as trifle in this duty. a. 
To ficn as halve family-religion. 3. To fuch as toUlly neglcft it. 4. 
To iuch as, inltead of family-religion, do live in family-mckednefs. 

1. Thsn, we fay, this reaches a reproof to fuch as do tri/U.xn fa- 
mily-religion : fome there are who make die fafbion, at leaft, of at- 
tending all the duties of it ; but with fuch fainmefs, deadnefs, and 
coldrifenjfs, as fays their duty is theii burden, and not their choice. 
They can fcarce tell wlnt advantage they make of it. Such our doc- 
trine reproves, and faulty ye are. For, 

(1 ) This fays perfonal reli»io : i is either altogether wanting, or un- 
der a fad decay, pcrfonal and family-religion go together ; as there 
is an increafe in «aj, and carcfulnefs about the one, fo there will be 
about the other. When David looked well to himfelf, when he be- 
haved himfflf wifely in a perfect way, he then alfo Walked within his 
houfe with a perfect heart, Pf«L ci. a. Surely ycur trifling in family. 
religion is the genuine fruit of trifling in private and pcrfonal religion. 
fa.) Ye deprive yourfelves of the comfort of famity-religion. The 
Lord has not faid to the feed of Jacob, " Seek ye my face in vain ;" 
rtav, he is good to the fonl that feeks him, to them that wait for him. 
«* I \ kr<*pi-ig his commands there is great reward ;" bnt they who 
trifle, mi'* t'm great reward ; for he only " is a rewardcr of them 
that dilteeiitly ftek htm, Heb. xi. 6. 

(<* ) Ye mifs the mark, ye do not reach the fcope and intendment 
of theft duties, the engagement of y >iir fam !ie> to the Lord. It will 
not be a coldrifs and formal performance of duty, tbat will either 
fltifo Goal, or profit yourfelves, or £am others . 

(aA Fanlt¥ 


(4 ) faulty ye are to 4 high decree ; ye provoke the Lord to anger. 
God is a fpirit, and he requires tliaie who worfilip him, to do it in 
fpirit and in truth. We mull be fervent in fpirit, ferving the Lord. 
He fpews the lukewarm out of his mouth, and has pronounced a curft 
againit thofe who ferve him with the worll : ** Cur feci be the deceiver 
who hath in his fbek a* male, and vowetli and facrificeth to God a 
corrupt thing," Mai. i, 1 4. 

s. This doctrine teaches 3 reproof to fuch as fulvc family-religion. 
Sjme there are who will not entirely omit, nor yet will they entirely 
perform. They go a part of the way with God, but they will not g» 
the whole. T° ^ UCn wc W* 

(t.) Ye disjoin what the Lord has joined. The whole law of the 
Lord is knit together; and all the pans of it are fubfervient to ea;h 
other; and it is remarkably fo with refpefi to fsmily-ieligion ; and 
particularly with reflect to family-worfhip. Prayer obtains from ihe 
Lord influences of light, whereby we are made to underiland his word: 
and difcoveries of the Lord in the word fill cur mouths with the high 
praifes of the Lord. Let no man, therefore, fe pa rate thefe which the 
Lord has joined. 

(a.) Ye betray naughtinefs of heart* A fincere heart counts God's 
commands all of them to be right concerning all things. They who 
hare not a re f peel: to all the Lord's commands, mall, when they aie 
.tried, be expo fed to jufl flume and contempt, Pfal. cxi. 6. Now,. 
while ye thus pick out fame, and reject others, ye practically declaic 
"Sow naughty your heart is. 

(3.) Yz trample upon the authority of the Lord in the command: 
" He that breaks one is guilty of all." If the Lord's authority were 
the motive that induced you to do the one part of this duty, it would 
alio prevail with you to do the other. If the true reafon why ye read 
a chapter fomerimea in your family, were becaufe lb« Lord commands 
it, ye would, for the very fame reafon, f>ray in your families. I: is 
not the authority of the Lord that dicks with you, other wife it would 
be ia all refpefts of the like and equal confederation and weight with 
you. This is not tbat which prevails with yo«> and therefore ye are 
..guilty of fignai contempt of the Lord. 

(4.) Ye lofe even what ye do. God will have all or none. Ye mufl 
either receive or reject all his laws. He will allow no man to pick 
and chufe ; and fince ye are not clear for all, ye will be no better of ail 
. the lengths ye go. Inftead, therefore, of a reward for what ye have 
done, ye may expe& to be fent to the pit for what has been Iclf, un- 

3. This doftrine teaches a fad and (harp reproof to the tit a I negltft* 
{ erf of family religion.. And. even of this fort there are not a few. 
'Some there are hearing, it may be, who have lived, fome ten, foone 
twenty years and upw.ards'in a family, and never a word ail the while 
of any thing lik: family-relig'.oru To fuch we fay, 

(I.) Ye are going, in the clear way to deftruftion. You heard us 
prove, from the moil folid fcriptiire-evidencc, that where there is 
heart fincerity, any thing of real perfonal godlinefs, there will be alfo 
a confricntiou? care to maintain the worfhip of God, and all the parts 
of family-religion. _ 


(s.) As if that were not enough, ye do what in you lies to rui* th 
feu I j of your children and families. He as really ig guilty of ibe mux 
tier of his ion or fervanl, who neglects bis inftiu&ion, as be is whi 
slabs a dagger to his heart. 

(3) What in you lies ye do to frofiVate the gofpel.ard make tnin 
ifters lofe their pain. Then is the go f pel like to be fuccefsful toward 
the falvaiion of fouls, wher. every one doth hit part : but ye are fo fa 
from furihcring the gofpel, that ye join iflue with theged of this worl 
in blindfolding the children of men, left the glorious light of the gal 
pel mould mine into their minds. 

Ye fin «^ the Lord with a high hand : ye fay upon the matter 
th.t he maW i or dwell in your houlc, when ye re fufe to invite him in 
and to ur~c his flay. 

4- To thofc this doctrine reaches a rebuke, who not only negleC 
farw.Iy-r-ligion, but who, I may fay, maintain Jamily-irrJigic*, an< 
mil met their la mi lies to neglect the I.OTd and his fervice. 

(1.; 3y the negleft of family-worfhip, children and fervants wh< 
never fee any thing like the worfhip of God in the families whereii 
tlicy live, and who are not inftru&cd in the way of the Lord, are there 
by bid open to the con duel of their own hearts, and taught alio « 
i.eglcft it. 

(?..) By examole of many pa rents, children and fervants are taught to g< 
a grftrer length: they not only fee the woifhip of God neglected, facm 
ly-religion trifled over and flighted- but they fee their parents and mif 
ten living carelefs ofperfona] religion, negle&ing fecrct prayer, readinj 
of the word ; nay more, living in the practice of known fin, drinking 
fwearing, fpcaking profanely. Here is the example, and rtadily it ii 
followed by corrupt nature. Children and fervants aie ready to writi 
after this. copy : " As for the word that thou haft fpoken to us in lh< 
name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee : but we will certain, 
ly do whatfoever thing goeth out of our own mouth, to burn incenfc 
unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, ai 
jwc have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, .in thi 
* iics of Judah and ftieets of Jerufalem ; for then had we plenty 01 
victuals, and were well, and faw no evif," Jrr. xliv. 16, 17. 

(3.) Children are not only by many parents drawn on to fin^ but h*j 
fome even cherifhed in it. While they laugh at, and excufe, and fornc 
times tempt their children to iniquity. 

(4) Children are milled by parents not correcting them, and thai 
fjverely for fin : «« Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the 
rod of correction will drive it away';" and therefore, «« he that fparei 
the rod hates the child." Eli ftands a monument of the terrible cor>- 
fequence of indulging children in ill. 

Thefe and fuch ways do many in out day teach both children and 
fervants irreligion. Now, to fuch we fay, 

(1.) Is it not enough t .at ye your fe Ives join iflue with Satan, bul 
will ye thus draw others into the confederacy ? Ye are not only aftinfl 
the Lord, but ye are ringleaders in the way to deftruclion. 

(2.) Not content to draw others, ye drive your children and fey 
vants to fin : and is it not enough to deftroy your own fouls, uolefs y< 
o^nly and evidently murder your families ? 

(3) * 


(3.) Is it not enough that ye bani(h Cod your houfe, but will ye 
tantih him the world ? This ii the plain tendency of what ye do. Ye 
are as thofe whs poifon a fountain. By poi foiling your children and 
lervants, ye poifon, it may be, thofe who are to be the heads of many 
families, and thereby fpread, or at lead contribute your utroolk toward 
the fprcading, definition through the world, and that tp all fucceed- 
ing generations. 

finally. That i may (hut up thii pfe of reproof, we (hall put all the 
four forts of perfons we have named together, and we have a fourfold 
heavy charge agaiuft them. 

1. W« fay, yc are guilty of horrid cruelty. He that doth not what in 
him lies (or preventing fin. in his neighbour, hates him, in God's ac- 
count, in his heart ; " Thou (halt not hate thy brother in thine heart; 
thou (halt in any wife rebuke thy neighbour, and not fuft'er fin upon 
him," Lev. xix. 17. And he that hates his brother in the leaft degree, 
is by our Loid accounted a murderer, and adjudged to puniftunent,, 
.Mat in. v. 21. Now, according to this law, and righteous it ts r ye 
are guilty of dreadful cruelty, not againft an enemy, but againft your 
friends ; not againft your neighbour, but your own children; not a- 
gaina their bodies, but their fouls. To negleft a due care of them, isto> 
rouider their fouls ; and verily ye have the blood of their fouls on you* 

s« Ye are guilty of the mod horrid perjury. How oft have fame of 
you fwoFn, with hands lifted up to the Moil High God, before many 
wunefles, to ferve the Lord, to w or (hip him? Every child ye have 
Jaaptifed, ye folptnnly vowed to ferve the Lord, and to caufe your 
heufes to do fo. But all the vows of God cannot tic you. Well, the 
time haftens on apace, when the breach of folcmo vows of this nature 
Will fall heavy upon you, and the Lord will avenge the quarrel of his 
covenant. And furcly this will end in your utter dcttru&ion. 

3. Ye are guilty of denying the/aith,- und arc indeed worfe than infi- 
dels, " But if any man provide not for his own, and efpecially for 
thofe of his own houfe, he hath denied the faith, and is worfe than aa ■ 
infidel," J Tim. v. 8. Now, fure, if he who negle&s the care of hiJr 
houfe in temporals be guilty of this, much more he who is guilty of 
tub way in fpirituals. 

4. Ye are guilty of an horrid njeftion of the Lord and his yoke, in 
that, 1. Ye will not ftoop to his authority in all his commands. 2. In 
tbat ye openly contemn his authority, before children, and fervants, 
Jknd fojourners. And, 3. Ye induce others to do the like, and, at leaft 
by your example, do enconrage others to contemn the Lord ; and that 
fuch as arc moil likely to be f waved by it, and even fuch as you are c£- 
pecially bound to train up in the Lord's fervice. 

Now, furely, when thefe four are taken together, as they are ground of 
a jufl reproof, fo they will, if repentance prevent not, be a jult ground 
for a terrible fentence in the great day ; ind therefore confider of it in 
time, and betake yourfelves to the Lord by the exercife of repentance. 
But this I leave. 

Ufe 4. Of exhortation. It now only remains, that we improve this 

truth in a way of exhortation. Is ic fo, that fuch as are themfelves 

fincerely religious will be confeientioufly careful to maintain family* 

religion ? Then furely all, as th'y would not bt thought cither irrelu 

H h a . V?»»** 


giou*, or un found in religion, are obliged lo maintain family-re* 

.Mailers of families I (hall here addiefs you in a matter of the high- 
efl concernment to yojr fouls, and thofe of your faihily rSet up family- 
religion ; make confeirnce of it in all its parts, and be in earneft in this 
matter, we befeech and obteft you. For, 

\Jl % The Lord commwdi you to do (o. TUe authority of God, err- 
joining it in all its parts, will be motive enough to any who have Tub* 
jefted themfelves unro the Lord, t/ken his yoke upon there, and fur- 
r«"odrred themfelves. to his conduct. I need not (land to mention par- 
ticular teftimonies for proof of this, having already done it in the doc- 
trinal put of ibis difcourfe : I (hall only add, that one exhortation of 
Mofrs, the man of God, to the people of Ifrael, *« Only take heed to 
thyftlr, and keep thy foul diligently, left thou forget the things which 
thine eyes bave feen, and left they depait from thine heart all the dayj 
of thy life ; but teach them thy fons, and thy fons forts,** Deru. iv. g^ 

idly, For your upilirring to this duty conftder, that, at the whole 
of religion is a reafonable fervice, lo ih';s in particular is highly fo. 
Tlu Lord demands nothing that can be denied ; and to difolgty him fa 
the moft unrealonablc wickednefs, and the height of injbftice. 

1. Surely there is nothing more reafonahle than /ami ly-rcligi on . Dofl 
thou think it reafonable to feed and cloaih thy children and fervants, 
and is it not fully as reafonable that thou moulded inftruft them 
in the thinga that belong to their everlafting peace ? Sure it is. Bui 
to clear this yet a Htile farther, take only theiefew particulars into cob- 

(1.) Your children aie all bom ignorant, like the wild afs'i coir, 
Job xi. i a. Children, as when born they know not the ways and 
m?ans of maintaining thcmfelves in natural life, fo they are igrorant c 
all that concerns their fpiritual life. Koncan they underihnd how- tc 
live, without they be taught, far lefshow to provide for the life 01 
th^ir funis. 

(a.) As they have not knowledge, fo this their want of it mud b« 
ruining to- them, if not made up by feafonable inllruclion : that th« 
foul be without knowledge is not good. A man cannot be without the 
knowledge of what concerns the prefent lire*, without confiderablc 
prejudice, far Ms without the knowledge of thofe things that concert 
the life of his foul : " Tne Lord comes in flaming fire,, to take venge- 
ance on them that know not G©(\ and obey not the gofpel ; wh< 
mail be punilhed wi'h everlatting deitruclion from the prefencc of tin 
Lord, and the glory of his power," a Thr-fl*. i. 8-. 

(4.) Someone or other, therefore, muft inflrutf your families in th* 
knowledge of Cod, elfe they perilh eternally. Knowledge of thef 
things isabfolutely neceirary, and how can they get this, un'efsfomt 
body teach them ? Nay, I nuy fay, not only is inftruftioa requifite 
but a comiderable care and diligence is neceitary. Relig'on and th 
truths that concern it, are not all to be learned at one It Hon. Nay 
but it will require frequent inflruclions: precept moil be upon precept 
line upon line, and here a liitle and there a little. There muft be ; 
f peaking of the things of God, when \*ego out and when we com 
ia, when we uidown and when we rife up,, as. it it enjoiucd, Deui 


.*t, 6. &c. if we would have them to (lick. So dull is man, that he 
is not taught trie cafieft arts or fciences without great pains, much lefs 
is it then 10 be expected, that he (hould learn fu per natural and divine 
truth* without much care about his inft ruction - 

($.) As children want naturally the knowledge of God, which yet 
they mufthave or perifh, and which they cannot obtain without they 
be intruded ; fo none are in fuch a cafe, and fo much concerned ip 
inftiuft them, as parents. For, [1.] None are fo nearly related to 
them as parerts are. Man, woman, what is thy child but a piece of 
thyfelr ? And who fo much concerned to have every thing that is 
needful provided Iof thee, as thou thyfelf art and ought to be ? [2..] 
None have fuch a fair opportunity as thou halt ; for it is but little 
others can be with them, but thou art with them when they lie down 
"and rife up, go out and come in, and fo had the mod proper oppor- 
tunities for t this end. [3.] None elfe has fuch accefs to know the 
temper of children and lcrvanta ; and this goes a great way in the in- 
ftruclion of children and others. They who know their tempers and 
'capacities are in beft cafe to deal with them. [4.] None are like to 
prevail fo far with them, becaufe none has fuch an intereft in their 
affections. The more we love the matter, the bettsr will his leflbh. 
be learned. [5.] None are like to be fo much the better for it, if 
: thy children and fervants be 1 nil rutted in the way of the Lord, as thou. 
To whom will the profit, to whom will the comfort come ? SuieJy 
to thee : '« A wife fon maketh a glad father,'* Prov. x. 1. [6..] 
'None are fo much concerned, becaufe none are like fo to fmart by it , 
if thy children or fervants mi fcarry : A foolifh fon is the heavinefg 
of his mother,'* Piov. x. 1. And frequently, a fon that caufeih 
ahame is the name given to fitch. Now, to whom doth he caufefhame 
and forrow, is it not to his parents ? furely it is : » For he that be- 
getteth a fool doth it to his forrow," Prov. xvii. 21. Many other 
*onfiderations I might add, to (hew none fo much concerned, nor fo 
. much obliged as parents and matters of families, in regard of the de- 
pendence of children and fervants upon them, and in regard of the 
•accefs they have to dVral with children before they ire prepoffeffed 
with p ejudices. But I proceed. 

a. Nor is famUy-worJhip lefs reaf nalle than famiIy«.inftruc"tion. For, 
(1.) There is in every family, and I may fay every day, a vifibla 
ground for it in all its parts. Every family is daily loaded with new 
mercies that are common to all the family, and redound to the advan- 
tage of the whole ; furely, then, it is but reafonable that there mould 
he an acknowledgement of the Lord as the Author of thofe mercies ; 
and his goodneis Ihould be celebrated in fongs of praife. Evrry day 
family-fins arc committed ; and therefore need there is of pardon, of 
eonfeflion, of repentance. Family-wants call flill for family-fupplica- 
tions ; and the fnares, dangers, and darknefs of the way, require a 
daily attendance to the word, as the unerring guide of your way. 

(2.) As there is daily reafon for all the parts of ir, fo their is a reafan 
forajokit and public performance of all thole duties. [1.] All the 
family are witneflesof the Lord's goodnefs, in his beftowing mercies, 
ef his juftice in infilling ftrokes, of their own fins, and wants, and 
darkpefs : tad therefore we ought publicly, iii& \.c^<t\to^ \a trJiawY- 


cdie God's goodnefs and jiflice, and our faith in his mercy and boun- 
ty ; fmce the family are witness of the one, they ought to be fo of 
the other alio, [a.] Since in your family-capacity, yc do rejoice for 
one another, a:d lor row with one another ; fmce, I fay, ye (hould bear 
9 part with each u:Her, both in prayer and praifci, there ought to be 
a public teftificatioo of this, and ye ought to join together for this end. 

(j.) Mailers of families thjuid undDubtedly acquaint all in their 
family with the God of their fathers; and no way fo effectual for this 
end, as to bring them all and freountly to the Loid in the duties of 
his o*n appointment, in winch his p->wer and glory are to be feen. 

(4.) All who hive families (hould, before the world, own thein- 
frlves everyway dependent on the Lord, and acknowledge hirn in all 
their wavs. And tois is the irue way to anOvrr their duty in this matter. 

3. There is full as good reafon for family government as for any of 
the rrrt, For, 

(1.) To glorify Cod, and to enjoy him, is the chief end of mao 9 . 
and that which ne ought to aim 1: ; as in all other things that he doth, 
fo particularly in entering into family-fncirty. Our families furely,. 
a tid ail our concerns mould be fo oidered as to contribute fome way 
toward the furtheranct of our eternal advantage. 

[2.) This end can never br obtained, unlefs all in the family be 
tied to walk according to that rul? which the Lord has given US as the 
way toward the enjoyment himfclf. 

(3 ) Any in the family who walk not according to the Lord*a will- 
in this muter, they do counteract that which all the family (hould- 
defign ; and therefore, if they will prrfiflin that courfe, they ought 
to be expelled the family. In a word, to be fomewhat mora plain, 
what can be more reasonable, t::an that all who live in your family, 
fhould be obliged to look to the advantage of the family ; and that 
f.jch as will not do fo, mould be tinned out of it ? And iurely every fist 
allowed has a viftblc tendency to brio* down ruin 00 the family*. 
Now this much for the fecond motive. 

3<z7v, As the Lord's command, and the reafonablenefs of the thing,, 
fhould nave weight, fo I would have you confider next, that thia it 
a path the Lord's people have in all genera ions trode. If thou ex- 
prclto have th^ir end, thou muft walk in thHr way, and go by the 
fool flops of the flock ; and furrly ih-v will all lead you to a careful 
attendance uoon the Lord in ' he whole of this duty. To which of the 
faints will ye turn, if ye mean f» countenance yourfelf in a neglect of 
this ? Sure none of them. You w-11 find godly Abraham, we have 
frequently cited; Jacob and Jofhu*, Job and Ojvid, we have already 
mentioned alTo ; and they ate :ci. . -i -d by the faints in all geneiatioBS. 

\tbly % Confidrr, that a due caie for vhe maintenance of family-reli- 
gion ii neceffary. .For evincing vour Gncerity, would ye be faiisfied 
that ths world look on you zs cither void of all religion, or not found 
in it ? And what peace do ye, can ■ . m proraife yourfrlves, while 
conscience has this to ihrow in your teet-., ihat yc live cither in the 
negleft or fuperficial performance of a kn.iwn duty ? How can ye Ca- 
1'isfy any other, or yourfelves, that ye have any repaid at ai! to that 
fum of the fecond table of the law, that requires yru to love your 
msighbout as youifclf ? I .fay, who will bclUvc that the man will love 



Jtfa neighbour jshimfelf, who loves not hit child, his fervant.? And 
who will or can juftly believe, that thou loveft child or feivant. while 
thou takeft no care of their fouls ? It is irapoifible ihat ihou canrt fatit- 
fy eitbar others or yourfelves, that ye are in earueft about religion, 
while ye fail hert. 

$th!y t For thy further excitement, know th it, the vows of God are 
upon you in this matter. Ye are folemnly (worn, not only when 
ye yourfelves were off • red to the Lord, but when ye offered your chil- 
dren ; and when ye were married alfo, then ye entered the relation, 
and then ye engaged to do all the duties that it doth draw after it. 
Now, can ye bear the reproach or perjury, of breach of folcmn vows 
to the Lord ? Now, here there is a fignal deleft ; and here I would put 
1 queftion lo you all, who have thus engaged to a peiformance of all 
thefc dunes. When ye did vow, were ye really refolved to do what 
ye promiied? If not, ye have mocked God after the boldeft manner. 
If ye were then, what has altered your resolution.? Mind, God has 
no pleafure in fools ; and the man who (hall afcend to the hill of God, 
la he that fweareth, and changeth not. 

' 6M/v, Coniidcr thegrsat advantages which attend coufcientious dili- 
gencs in performing this dqiy, and that to your fel vet, your children, 
your feryants, and the public. 

' I. I fay. Ye mail be gainers. Every part of religion has iuown 
reward : «« Godlinefs Is profitable for all things \ u and every piece of 
It is profitable for fome valuable end and purpofe. Now, this remark- 
able part of religion is profitable for thyfelf many ways. For, (i.) la 
all the duties of family-religion, thoa mayeft. have communion .witfe 
the Lord, " who faid not tothie feed of Jacob, feek me in vain." He 
never bid* bis people fet about any duty, but tha,t wherein he was to 
pe enjoyed. And there are (his day on God's earth fome who caa 
hty, as in, the fight of God, that fome of trie fweeteft opportunities, 
\h*f eyer had on eaith, were fa.mily-occafions ; and that never did 
tJiey more remarkably enjoy the Lord's' prefence, than in famUy-wor- 
fhfp. Some of confiderablc quality we have known to go into eternity j 
plefling God for family-religion, andf others will do fo. (a.) ft is ^li^ 
.way for thee to win fouls ; and this is of great advantage to thee : ' " He 
that winneth fouls is wife; and they who turn many to righteoufiiefs. 
fljall mine as the ftara in the firmament- for ever and ever." Anj 
furefy, if thou win iht foul of a Ton or fcrvant, thou (halt have the ad- 
vantage and comfort of it doubly. To have contributed toward ihe, 
falvatibn of any, gives much pleafure ; much more- to have done fo 
toward the advantage of a child or fervant. Again, (3.) If thau art 
fuccefsfu), and dolt gain them, furely it redounds to thy advantage ; 
for it will conciliate and engage their affeClions much to the.e > lajr a 
powerful enforcement to obedience on them, and engage them to im- 
prove their inter eft at the throne of grace on your behalf, and procure 
a blefling from the Lord to thy family. (4.) If they be not engaged, 
yet thy refpeft to God, in witnefTmgfor him, and cleaving to him, 
when tempted by fo llrong a difcouragement as the univerfal back- 
Wardnefs of thy family is, (hall not go without a reward. (5.) Surely g 
fioce the Lord, we find, would blefs a family for th« f*ke of a rcligi- 

•uj feryapjfM we find the Lord blcffcd" Potiphaj's bcufe for Jofeph'i 



fake, Gen. xxxix. 5. ; and Laban's hoafe for Jacob '1 fake, he will nv 
lei's, if not more, blefs a houfe on account of a religious mailer of * 
family. (6.) It is ihe troe wav »o obtain honour and refpcfl from the 
Lord, ana even intimacy wiih him. '1 his put Abraham on God's fe- 
ciets, Gen. xviii. 18. When God was to do a great work of jufticr, 
he wjuid not conceal it from Abraham, becanf; he was one that would 
h- knew, make confeience in particular of this duty. Finally, the true 
method to make dutiful children ard fervants. is lo engage them to> 
God's way. If once the> come to have a due regard for the Lord, 
they * ill learn foort to pay a due refpe£t to parents and mailers. 

a. This family-religion will be no lefs profitable to thy children} 
and, \e know, their gain mould be accounted gain by you. Every pa- 
rent fhouid be or Jjlin'a mind, third epiftle, ver. 4. «« I have no great- 
er joy, than to hear tint my children walk in the truth;" and that 
paiiicalarly beoufe it conliibutec 10 their advantage, and that many 
ways. 1. It is God's way, the mejns of his appointment toward their 
engagement In the Loid's way: «• Train up a child in the way that 
he fhouid go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." JProv. 
xxii. 6. The way to engage them to the Lord, is to bring them up in- 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord," Epb. vi. 4. And what can 
be fo much to their advantage as peace and acquaintance with God, 
whereby gocd (hall- come to them, in time, and to eternity ? 2. If 
this be not reached, yet it is a way that will not readily fail of keep-^ 
ing th;m from running 10 the fame excefs of riot with others, whereby 
they make themfrlves a difgrace to their parent!, and all concerned in 
them. It would be a ch_ck to them, whereby they might be kept from 
adventuring upon thefe bold heights that fome run to. I remember, 
the noble lord Rude), fon to the Marquis of Bedford, in his fpeccl. on 
the fcaffold, July 21, 1683, blvflea God for hit religious education : 
'* F*r," fays he, «« even when I minded it leaft, itftill hung about me, 
and gave me checks; and hath now for many years fo influenced and 
polfeired me, that I feel the hippy efEe&s of it in this my extremity." 
3. Though the advantage may never be feen by you, yet it may lay a 
foundation for their happinefs, when far from you. Good education 
may be Jike feeds n the ground, which may lie dead till a mower 
come, and then it will bud and bring forth fruit. It may be, when 
thy eyes are (hut, and thy children in fome far country, God nmy try 
them with fome awakening providence, that may put life in the feed 
thou had fown. It is ihe unhappinefs of many in this day, that they 
are not acquainted with the fir ft principles of religion; and therefore, 
when evil befalls them afar off, or among perfons ignorant of God, 
whither their wickednefs drives them, then there is nothing in them 
to work upon. Prov.dencei that are. the moft routing, are like (bow- 
ers falling upon the earth, without feed in it, that furely will have no 

3. We have likowife an inducement to this, irom its advantage to 
fervants. Servants are called children in fcripture : Naaman's fer- 
vants call him father, 2 Kings v. 13.; and no doubt a fatherly care 
there fhouid be of fervants. They are undoubtedly at leaft to come in 
a>nongll the firfl rank of neighbours, whom ye mould love as yourfclf. 
Son, they have a double advamage. i. tt it ihe way to bring them 


~to a Tating acquaintance with the Lord : (( Abraham will command 
h'w houfe after him, and they (hall keep the way of the Lard." Gen. 
xyiii. 1 1. 2. It is the way to make him ufeful at a fervant to thee ; 
and what he doth thit way it both his advantage and thine. 3. When 
be comet 10 be a matter, it it like. to engage him tp the fame courfe ; 
and thit will be not only his, but his pefterity't advantage. 

4. The advantage of this to the public, both church and (late, mould 
invite you. For, 1. Hereby you train up perfont fit to ferve God and 
their country faithfully, m public employments, either in church or 
Rate. 2. Hereby ye propofe a good example to engage othert to thofe 
ways that are for the good and honour of the ftite. They that are 
good Chriftians will ever be good fubjeclt. 3. Thou contributed a no- 
table part toward the maintenance both of church and fute, in at much 
as thou endeavoured, at far at thy power reaches, to keep the fubjefts 
of either of them up in their fear of God, and their duty toward both 
church aad commonwealth. 

ythly, On the other hand, confider the fad and lamentable confe- 
rences ot a negieft in thit matter, with refpeft to your children and 
fervant s, yaurfclf aud the public. 

1. I fay, Conftdtr the fad difadvantaget with refpfft unto the ehil- 
dren themfelves. They jire left, 1. Dcttitute of that which it mod 
profitable and ufeful for them in time, and after time; for "godlinefs 
it profitable for all things having the pramifet of the life that now it, 
and of that wh : ch it to come." a. They arc expofed, at it were, to 
wild beafls. If you will not educate them in the way of the Lord, the 
devil and their own corruption* will educate them in the way to hell; 
if ye will not teach them to pray, the devil will teach them to fwear. 
A young man, void of underdanding, it a prey to every dedroying 
luft ; fee Prov. vii. 6, 7, &c. 3. Not onlp fo, but hereby they are, at 
it were, hedged and fenced again d both erdinancet and providences, 
through their ignorance of God, and the principle! of religion, they 
can "be bettered by neither of them. 

a. It it fadly di (advantageous with, refped unto the public ; for. 
I* The public lofes the ufe and advantage which either church or date 
might have had by them, if they had been duly -educated. Again, 
a. Indead of being helpful, they are hurtful. 3. Not only hurtful, 
but even dedru&ive and ruining ; for to corrupt a family, is in effect 
to corrupt a nation ; becanfe a family quickly fpteadt iifelf, and it like 
to carry thit plague along with it. 

3. It it fadly di fad vantage out to you : for, 1. It it not li'-e that your 
children (hall pieve, as they otherwife might, the (lay and comfort of 
your old age; it is not probable, that they who have net been dutif oi- 
ly ufed by you, (hall ufe you dutifully. Lycurgut made a law, that 
children who were not well educated, mould not provide for their pa- 
rents when old. a. They are are like to procuie thee forrow, in at 
much at they arc like to run to evil, and fall into mifchief ; which will 
be fo much the heavier to thee, bee a ufe thou art faulty in it. The 
Switzers have a law, that, when children are guilty of any capital of- 
fence, parents are to be the executioners, to teach that they are to blame 
in this matter. 3. They are like, not only to peridt, but to fink you 
wiih them. They will be as fo many miUftonet tied about your neck. 

37f THE ChklSTTAM*! DUTY. 

to make you fink the deeper under the wrath of God : and yoor miftry 
will tor ever be increifed, by the accefiiori you have had to theirs. 

Now, for your help in this duty, I (hall conclude with two or three 

I. Would je deal to any purpofe in tfaii matter? then be fure that 
ye be per Tonally religious. 

». Begin early to be fo : put off no time, but fet about the ftudyof 
it now. 

3. Study much the worth of fouls, the worth of children and fsr- 
vanu' (ouls. 

4. Learn well the meaning of that command, " Love thy neighbour 

as rhyfelf." 

finally, Study to be lively in religion, and then ye Will go on with* 
out conflraint. 

Now, upon the whole, cdhfider : " And if it feem evil to you thU 
day to fervethe Lord, chufeye whom ye will ferve:" but, through 
grace, the advice I $ive, I refolve to follow : "But ai for me, and my, 
hoafe, we will fcrve the .Lord." 





John Auftin 
Mrs. Cafwell 
James Conchy 
John Conchy 
William Camming 
John Craig 
William Davis 
Matthew H. Delvine 
Juliana Dunlap 
Andrew Doffees 
Mary Englet 
John Ely 
William Foregrave 
Jofeph Field 
Sarah Fritez 
Alexander Fridge 
William Graham 
James Gallagher 
Alexander Graham 
Mary Gamble 
William Hamilton, 12 copies 
Sumuel Holmes 
James Hines 
Elizabeth Hawthern 
Hugh Henry 
Martha James 
Rebecca Kyfer 
Catharine Keir 
William Keemb!e 
Elizabeth C. Lei per 
James Little 


William Millikin 
John M'Cara 
John M'Monagle 

iohn M'CulIoch, 6 copies 
William M'Culloch, 2 copies 
Sarah Marih 
William M'Glaufe 
Kiel Mathifon 
Vi (count de Noailles 
John Purdon * 
Mary Powel 
Benjamin Ruflj*, M. D. 
. David Richards 

John Read 
obn Rofs 
Hannah Rhoades 
William Smiley 
William Stuart 
Dr. Andrew Spence 
James Stuart 
David Scott 
Ebenezer Stackhoufd 
James Sinclair 
James Slater 
William Scott «, 

Mrs. Shippen 
James Stuart 
David Shoemaker 
James Thompfon 
Adam Traquatr 
William Thompfon 

Cranfton Taylor 

• -■ 

1 % 


Thomas Wotherfpooa 
William Wcier 
Samuel Weafey 

Eliza Wilfon 
James Young 
William Young* io copie* 

Bucks County— -John Dean 

Montgomery County — Jane Righter 

Delaware County — John Cunningham 

Thomas Campbell 
James Long. 

York County. 

Hugh M'Mullia 
Edward Phail 

Cumherlund County.. 

Capt. Andrew Armftrong 
Andrew Armftrong) jun. 
John Armftrong 
Jonathan Arthur 
William Alexander 
Willi im Blair 
John Bolton 
Robert Bell 
James Bell 
David Bell 

John Brown 
ohn Boyd 

William Brylon 

William Burk 
'James Clendenin 

Robert Crifwell 

Mary Crifwell 

Richard Cairns 

Samuel Culbertfon, 

James Carothers 

George Caver, efq. 

Teedry Cover 

William Clark 

Andrew Carothers 

John Clendenin, efq. 

John Douglas 
John D unbar 
John DugleCs ••;. 

John Dugkfs, juih 
Thomas Dona Id f on 
George Davidfon, jun, 
Peter Ege 
Thomas Fifher 
Andrew Fergufon 
Mary Galbraith. 
James Graham 
Arthur Graham 
Thomas Graham 
J arret Graham 
Alexander Glenn 
Thomas Glenn 
William Galbraith 
John Greer 
James Given 
Andrew Gilbraitb, efq* 
Hugh Holmes 
John Hugton 
William Harvey 
Samuel Hahna 
Divid Hoge, efq. 
George Harland 
Armftrong Irvin 
James Irvin . 
William Irvin. 
John Irvin 


Samuel Knifley 
David King 
James La m be r ton 

John Loudon 
Lobert Milby 
Robert Ma Teed 
Melcher Miller 
Archibald M'Grue 
Col. John M«Donald 
John M«Coy 
John Moore 
"William Moore 
Joftiua Marl in 
John M'Keghan 
George M'Keehan, fen. 
George M'Keehan, jun. 
Benjamin M«Keghan, 
James M'Creary 
Samuel M'Dowei 
Daniel M'Conel 
Robert M'Cormick 
William Moore 
Edward Magauran 
James M^Cormick 
Hugh M'Cormick 
Charles M'Clure 
Kobert M«Kean 
Alexander M«WilKam* 
Charles NJfbct, D. D. 
John Neal" 
James Neal 
Sarah Neal 
Mary Anne Near 
Margaret NeaT 
Walter Oliver 

John Oliver 
Richard Patton 
Thomas I?atterfon - 
William Fatterfon 
lfaae Plunkett 
Chriftopher Q»igley,efq* 
Capt. Henry Quigley 
Nathan Ramfey 
Seawright Ramfey 
James Ramfej 
James Reed ^« 

Jghn Smiths- 
Samuel Shan * % 
John Scouller 
Robert Stuart 
Hugh tf fchford 
David Turner 
John Trimble 
Samuel Tate . 
Elifabeth Vani^f 
Richard Wood 
Adam Wilfon . " , i ,• 

JohnWoodburn ■■ : l Ar 
Samuel Woodburnv 
John Wallace ■ 
Nathaniel Weakly 
Rev, Samuel W*ti&fti 
John Walker,^ *# - 
Samuel Waugh 
James Waugh <■ 
William Walker, fen- 
David Walker 
William Work 
Samuel Weakley 

Bedford County. 
William Piper- 


Wajhinglm County* 
Rev. Thomas Hamilton* 


David Bryfon 

George Charters, 12 copiei 
John Charters 
James Charters, 3 copies 
Thomas Dick 
George Gofman, 9 copiei 
Mrs. Jennett Gofman 
George Gofman, jun. 
Robert Gofman 
William Gofman 
Thomas Beveridge Gofman 
Eliza Gofman 
Margaret Gofman 
Jennet Gofman 

Anna Gofman 
Daniel M'Larer 
Samnel Millegan 
Jane Milligan *• 
Duncan M'Laws 
Peter Pettit, 2 copies 
Rez. Francis Pringle 
Henry Pringle 
Allan Qaeen 
James Queen 
Thomas Kobertfon 
William Robertfon 
Alexander Robertfon 
James Robertfon 

William Stuart 


John Burchan John M'Gowaa 

Henry Brown 
William Brown 
John Banks 
John Coyle 
William Carrol 
John Chambers 
toftiua Dawfon , 3 copies 
William Doughty 

P. Ferrall 
R. Freeman 

William Felch 
Robert Gilleppee 
J. Harwood 
A. Harrifon 
Willialn James 
Edward Jones 
John Litle 
John Laub 
George Mitchell 
William Mac key 
John Malcolm 
William Miller 

feph Nourfe, 9 cop* 
lichael Nourfe 
John B. Rittenhoufc 
5. Plodget 
Henry Rogers 
Andrew Rofs 
David Rawn 
Charles Shocmaktr 
John Smith 
James Saltonftall 
Jofeph Stretch 
D. Sheldon jun. 
John Sttell 
3. Smith 
John M. Sytton 
Jofeph Taylor 
Charles Tomkin't 
Robert Underwwood 
P. Waterman 
J. Woodfide 
B» Wood